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Democracy Now discusses how the Obama and Romney campaigns control debate questions and exclude third party candidates; Chilean student movement receives award

Democracy Now interviews author George Farah and Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald about how the Commission on Presidential Debates restricts the ability of the presidential debates to be fair and open. The broadcast ends with an interview with two of the leaders in the Chilean student movement, which recieved an award for organizing Chile's largest protests for free higher education. (skip past headlines to get to interviews):


AMERICAN PROSPECT: True the Vote trains poll watchers to intimidate voters

Two years ago, the week before Election Day, I drove to Harris County, Texas. More specifically, I drove to the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, a polling location for early voting in one of Houston’s poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. After alleging that Harris County had a widespread problem with voter fraud, a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots had launched a project called True the Vote, which had trained hundreds of volunteer poll watchers.

Abby Rapoport

LA TIMES: Judges temporarily block state voter ID laws for 2012 elections

WASHINGTON — Earlier this year, voting rights advocates foresaw a cloud over this year's election because new voting laws in Republican-led states tightened the rules for casting ballots and reduced the time for early voting.

But with the election less than a month away, it's now clear those laws will have little impact. A series of rulings has blocked or weakened the laws as judges — both Republicans and Democrats — stopped measures that threatened to bar legally registered voters from polling places in the November election.

David G. Savage

ALTERNET: Quebec students vow to keep fighting after historic victory

On September 4, Quebec’s student movement, admired for its 300,000-person protests, provided a less sensational model for youth worldwide — of a movement struggling with the contradictory effects of a hotly contested election.

Zachary A. Bell

CTU: Poll demonstrates strong public support for teacher's strike

CHICAGO –As contract talks continue to two steps forward and one step backward, the city’s 29,000 public school educators enter their fourth day of a labor protest that has shut down schools across the city. An independent new poll indicates the majority of the public and parents support the teachers strike and blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked school board for the District’s education woes.


CPS alum release song in support of striking teachers

Rebel Diaz

Boston college students fight for tuition freezes across the city

"A lot of students were energized from the Occupy movement," says BU student Ian Chinich about the recent surge of student-power activism. 

Liz Pelly

'Yo Soy 132' Mexican student movement looks to the future

Nacho Martínez shoots a cheeky grin as he tells of the day he decided to protest against Mexican presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto. “We were so nervous,” he states. “We thought that we were really going to get into trouble.”

Ela Stapley

THE NATION: Chilean Students Demand Education Reform

The first raindrops began to leak from the menacing gray sky over Plaza Italia, in the heart of Santiago, by 9:00 am. Aside from hurried professionals and a few special force police officers patrolling in pairs and politely conversing with small groups of students who should have been in classes, everything appeared calm.

Brittany Peterson

LA TIMES: Students protest tuition hikes at regents meeting

Student protesters angry about another possible tuition hike disrupted the meeting of the University of California regents Wednesday in Sacramento, with some demonstrators dressed in orange prisoner uniforms and singing about “working on the chain gang.”

The regents were about to discuss a recent report about the treatment of protesters on campuses and then analyze the impact of the governor’s May revision of the state budget on tuition.

Officials have said a 6% percent tuition hike may be in the works for July’s regent meeting if state funding does not increase.

Larry Gordon

Madison Commemorates 50th Anniversary Of “Port Huron Statement” With Series Of Public Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   

This June will be the 50th anniversary of the completion of the final draft of the Port Huron Statement. According to Kirkpatrick Sale’s SDS, published in 1970 (and still the most comprehensive history of the Students for a Democratic Society), the Port Huron Statement “may have been the most widely distributed document of the American left in the sixties,” with 60,000 copies printed and sold for 35 cents each between 1962 and 1966.

Norman Stockwell

ALTER NET: May Day's Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st

American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia.

Jacob Remes

Hostile Takeover: Turning MI Cities Over to "Managers" Who Can Sell Off City Hall, Break Union Contracts, Privatize Services—and Even Fire Elected Officials


When the city of Pontiac, Michigan, shut down its fire department last Christmas Eve, city councilman Kermit Williams learned about it in the morning paper. "Nobody reports to me anymore," Williams says. "It just gets reported in the press." This was just the latest in a series of radical changes in the city, where elected officials such as Williams have been replaced by a single person with unprecedented control over the city's operation and budget.

Paul Abowd

Republicans Extend Open Enrollment To Unleash Market Forces On School Districts


Wisconsin's public school open enrollment period begins Monday, and for the first time, families will have three months to decide whether and where to enroll their students outside of their home school district.

For the Madison School District, the extra time could mean more families choosing to leave for other districts or virtual schools, though Superintendent Dan Nerad said it's too early to know what the affect will be.

"By the nature that there's an open window, that's likely to happen for us as well as other districts around the state," Nerad said.

Matt DeFour

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor


WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.

Sabrina Tavernise

DAILY KOS: Pulaski WI Marching Band Plays "Union Maid" in Rose Bowl Parade

The Pulaski High Marching Band, of Pulaski Wisconsin, made an awesome statement in yesterday's Rose Bowl Parade.

It was quite an honor for the Red Raiders from this small town (pop. approx. 3000) northwest of Green Bay to be marching in 80-degree weather in Pasadena, while their proud community looked on from windy 18-degree Wisconsin.

The TV coverage started as they marched along playing "On Wisconsin," looking properly Badger-like in their red uniforms.

And then they got to the grandstand, at about 1:15 in the YouTube ... listen to what happened.


CAP TIMES: ACLU sues over Wisconsin voter ID law

A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Milwaukee alleging that Wisconsin's new voter ID law is unconstitutional and will deprive people of the right to vote.

Jessica Vanegeren

CAP TIMES: Gov. Walker's cuts to Wisconsin education decimating public education

State officials recently announced this year’s final state aid sent to local school districts. All but 13 of Wisconsin’s 424 local school districts received cuts. The historic school aid reduction in Wisconsin is the second largest per pupil cut in the nation.

Local education leaders, parents and teachers are concerned about the long-term effects of such deep funding cuts.

Kathleen Vinehout

AP: Public employees hold general strike in Britain

ONDON (AP) — Paramedics, emergency crews, teachers and even some employees from the prime minister's office took to the streets of Britain for the country's largest strike in decades — drawing attention to government cuts but failing to bring the nation to a standstill.

Public sector employees staged the one-day walkout Wednesday over government demands that they work longer before receiving a pension and pay more in monthly contributions, part of austerity measures to tackle Britain's 967 billion-pound ($1.5 trillion) debt.

David Stringer

Arundhati Roy addresses People's University in Washington Square, NYC

This is the text of a speech given by Arundhati Roy at the People's University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011 (video link below).

Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We're not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody.

Arundhati Roy

VIDEO & AUDIO: Extensive coverage of Democracy Convention by WisconsinEye

WisconsinEye is the C-Span of Wisconsin's civil society. The folks at WisconsinEye video recorded 18 different sessions at the 2011 Democracy Convention. They may be watched or listened to for free on their website, or purchased for download, here: