DC Jobs with Justice and Respect DC’s Spring of 99% Training “energized” attendees

The Spring of 99% nonviolent direct action trainings happened all over our country last week. The goal was to train 100,00 people across the United States on nonviolent direct action. Locally in DC,on Sunday, April 15th, people gathered at the AFL-CIO for the DC Jobs with Justice and Respect DC Spring of 99% training. Some of the training attendees hailed from organizations like the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), the New Organizing Institute and Pride at work. Participants discussed their personal stories of how they are the 99%. They also saw a short film on the economy, and learned how to do hassle lines for nonviolent direct action. Attendees felt energized and wanted to learn more about getting involved with DC Jobs with Justice and the Respect DC campaign. If you would like to learn more about the Spring of 99% and how to be involved with DC Jobs with Justice contact Lillian@dcjwj.org. If you would like to learn more about the Respect DC campaign please contact Mike at Mike@dcjwj.org or Dyana at...

GW Students Join The Justice At Wings Campaign

Taking time from cramming for mid-terms, students from the George Washington (GW) University and members of DC Jobs with Justice’s Student Labor Action Project joined striking Wings workers on a delegation to the university to demand that the institution take action to ensure a rapid resolution of the strike. rnrnWorkers at Wings are know as “rodmen” and do the tough work of placing the reinforcing steel in the concrete structure of buildings. The company – the biggest of its type in the region – does work on campuses around the area, including University of Maryland – College Mark and George Mason University, in addition to GW.rnrn”In 2008 I suffered an accident on the job,” explained Mauricio, one of the striking workers. “I was working on a wall and the foreman asked me to come down to the floor. I was descending slowly but the foreman shouted at me that I should come down more quickly. When I jumped down I seriously injured my left foot and left shin. The company did not offer to provide any medical attention, pay for the days I missed or compensate me for my injury.” rnrnStudents also requested that the company launch an investigation into working conditions for Wings workers on the Square 54 construction site, which is being managed by Boston Properties and Clark Construction Group. “As GW students, it’s important to us that the workers building our facilities are treated fairly,” said Aaron Keshner, a student at GW and leader of the Progressive Student Union. “We had a good discussion with the president’s office, and will work to ensure that they follow...

Georgetown Student Rally for Campus Officers

Cold fall rain did not deter more than 40 students and staff who rallied Nov. 13th at Georgetown University to support campus police officers. Representatives from a variety of student organizations, as well as Georgetown staff, gathered on Red Square to show their support for the Georgetown Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers in their union negotiations. The officers’ union, Allied, has been in negotiations with the university since August; the university has yet to agree to the union’s proposal to bring hourly wages – now about $3 less than other area colleges — on par with other campus police in the metro Washington area. rnrnThe issue was brought to forefront after Georgetown experienced two hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Students involved in the resulting dialogue about campus safety realized that the uncompetitive salary for DPS salary resulted in an understaffed department and a lack of resources for officers. After speeches by representatives of the Georgetown chapter of NAACP, the Latino-American group MEChA, Asian American Students Association, and the labor rights group Georgetown Solidarity Committee, the demonstrators carrying signs saying “Show Us Your Values” and “How Much is Your Safety Worth?” marched to the offices of President DeGioia and Vice President Dimolitsas to deliver petitions with hundreds of signatures from students, professors, and organizations, including the College Democrats and Republicans. rnrn- report/photo by Julia...

Students March, Sit-In for Fired Workers

More than 200 highschool students wearing all black walked out of classes Monday to protest the layoff of 388 school employees last week. Chanting “No counselors, no college!” students met at McKinley Technology High School and marched towards schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s office. “We are here because our education in on the line,” said one student. “We have no teachers. All our counselors have been laid off. I am a senior, I want to graduate, I want to go to college, I want to have a future but how can I do that without a school counselor.rnrnAt McKinley officers from the Metropolitan Police Department entered classrooms at around 2:45pm Friday to escort the teachers out of the classroom, “I was in class, the police came in, told my teacher to leave the classroom and escorted her to her car. We knew the layoffs were coming but we didn’t know who or when it would happen. It was very distressing,” explained Tamika DeBose, a student at McKinley Tech. As McKinley students gathered peacefully in the school courtyard on Friday, police attempted to disperse them, pepper spraying DeBose directly in the face. Another senior, Teyvon Cooke, began to voice her opposition to the layoffs when the police allegedly grabbed her neck, threw her on the ground, injuring her face and then arrested her, falsely accusing her assaulting a police officer. “Rhee mismanaged this situation badly,” said Kelvin Sherman, a 12th grader who filmed the incident and was expelled today after he shared the footage to with news stations. “At the end of the day it’s students who suffer.” rnrnRhee argues that...

Student Labor Week of Action

rnThe 10th annual National Student Labor Week of Action, hosted by the Student Labor Action Project, is an opportunity to reclaim our future by mobilizing our communities. From March 27th to April 4th, in honor of the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez, students and workers will unite and demand:rn * The passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and living wages for all campus employeesrn * University codes of conduct that support workers’ rights both on campus and overseasrn * Fair wages & working conditions for the people who grow our food and harvest our cropsrnrnDC’s Student Labor Action Project was formed as a coalition of progressive organizations at universities across DC, with the goal of promoting economic justice both on and off campus. Together, we stand in solidarity with workers, and have worked on various campaigns fighting labor exploitation in the city. We also work closely as a coalition to support each others’ actions; our coordination as a group helps empower students to take action in their communities. In the past, DC SLAP has fought for living wages, anti-sweatshop apparel, and the right to organize for workers in the district.rnrnThe week of action kicks off On March 24th, when hundreds of students from across the nation will gather at the US Capitol to demand the passage of the DREAM Act and the Employee Free Choice Act. From there, groups will take action on their own campuses. rnStudent groups at Georgetown, George Washington, American, and UMD are all planning events in support of worker justice, and calling on our communities to take action. This year,...