Quantcast

StudentNation | The Nation

  •  
StudentNation

StudentNation

Campus-oriented news, first-person reports from student activists and journalists about their campus.

President Obama: Forgive Student Loan Debt

Forgiving student loan debt would provide an immediate jolt to the economy by putting hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of extra dollars into the hands of people who will spend it - not just once, but each and every month thereafter - freeing them up to invest, buy homes, start businesses and families. This past year, total student loan debt finally surpassed total credit card debt in America, and is on track to exceed one trilion dollars within the next year. Student loans themselves are responsible for tuition rates that have soared by 439 percent since 1982 and for saddling entire generations of educated Americans with intractable levels of student loan debt from which there is, seemingly, no escape. Relieve them of this burden and the middle class will help rebuild this economy from the bottom-up.

We encourage all StudentNation readers to sign on to the call by the non-profit group We The People to petition the Obama Administration to "Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy and Usher in a New Era of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Prosperity."

Nation Interns Choose the Week's Most Important Stories (9/23/11)

Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week, and please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.

Angela Aiuto:

Congressional Millionaires To Weigh Obama's Proposed ‘Buffett Rule,’” by Michael Beckel. OpenSecrets.org, Sept. 20, 2011.
Despite broad public support for a tax hike on the wealthiest individuals, congressional Republicans attacked President Obama’s proposed “Buffett Rule” this week as an incitement of class warfare. How could Congress be so out of touch with the American people? The Center for Responsive Politics explores its glaring conflict of interest. 

Cal Colgan:

Killings alarm Mexico bloggers.” Al Jazeera, Sept. 16, 2011.  The bodies of two young people were found in Nuevo Laredo, a town on the Texas border with Mexico, tortured to death by the members of the Zetas drug cartel. The man and woman were victims of Mexican drug cartels' deadly attacks on citizen reporters and professional journalists.

Teresa Cotsirilos:

Got Cheap Milk?: Why ditching your fancy, organic, locavore lifestyle is good for the world's poor,” by Charles Kenny. Foreign Policy, Sept. 12, 2011.  Kenny's article is provocative, to say the least. Contrary to popular belief, he argues, buying local and eating non-genetically modified organic food is not in the best interest of the developing world's poor—and is some cases is not particularly good for the environment either. An original, well-researched argument, and definitely worth a read.

Paolo Cravero:

Rabbani's death and Afghanistan's future,” by Anand Gopal. Foreign Policy, Sept. 20, 2011.  I chose this article because of the importance of the historical moment in recent Afghan history. The death of Rabbani further complicates the possibility of negotiation with neo-Taliban, and it is also a symbolic strike for those envisaging a peaceful Afghanistan in the near future. 

Erika Eichelberger:

A War Against Food Waste,” by Dylan Walsh. The New York Times, Sept. 15, 2011. 50 million American households suffer from food insecurity. At the same time, 200 pounds of food is thrown away every year for every man, woman and child in the US. Check out Dylan Walsh's NY Times Green blog post on the initiative being planned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to reduce food waste sent to landfills and increase donations to food banks.

Josh Eidelson:

Grocery strike avoided; deal called 'win-win' for both sides,” by P.J. Huffstutter. Los Angeles Times, Sept. 19, 2011. Hours before a potential strike by 54,000 union grocery store workers in Southern California, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons chains.  UFCW leaders say the deal protects workers' comprehensive family health insurance.  Workers will be voting on it Friday and Saturday.  If they hadn't made a credible strike threat, their negotiations would have looked very different.

Eli Epstein-Deutsch:

When Did Trickle-Down Get Respectable?” by Timothy Noah. The New Republic, Sept. 19, 2011. This post is a brief nod to an insidious and under-covered development in American political culture: the loss of the rhetorical and conceptual toolbox used previously by the left to combat the fallacies of "supply-side," "Reagonomics,""trickle-down," "the Laffer curve," etc. Somehow these are no longer active disparagements; hence, among other things, Republicans are able to repeat assertions about the dangers of "raising taxes on job creators" without a coherent framework in which to debunk them.

Collier Meyerson:

 “When the Death Penalty Hits Home,” by Helena Andrews. The Root, Sept. 21, 2011.  The execution of Troy Davis has rightfully taken its place front and center in progressive media. But Davis's story piqued my interest in the lives of those effected by victims of capital punishment. Helena Andrews's piece is a brave meditation on her cousin's fate and the deterioration of their relationship.

Allie Tempus:

"Revealed: Aid to Ethiopia increases despite serious human rights abuses,” by Angus Stickler and Caelainn Barr. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Aug. 6, 2011. This piece, though only a part of the Ethiopia Aid Exposed series published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, serves as an excellent overview of the entire project. It declares that the EU, despite contributing massive aid to the country, has repeatedly adopted a policy of "hear no evil, see no evil" when it comes to human rights violations there. It's a brutal examination of international benevolence tangled in competing interests and outright ignorance. 

Jin Zhao:

Aumentan ataques contra mexicanos de la etnia triqui en NY,” (Increasing attacks against the Triqui Mexican in NY). NTRZacatecas.com, Sept. 16, 2011. A recent AP story reminds us of Marcelo Lucero's murder in 2008 and anti-immigrant violence that remains an issue of contention among concerned groups and those in law enforcement. This article I came across on a Mexican website (and another on the same topic) tells us the story of an even more vulnerable Hispanic group, Triquis, who live in upstate New York. Because the majority of them do not speak English or Spanish and many of them are unclear about their immigration status, Triquis often fall victims of not only criminal/violent attacks but sometimes police abuse.

Ariel Dorfman's Message to Youth Who Want Change

This video message from storied Chilean-American author and human rights activist Ariel Dorman offers a stirring call to youth who want change. He has lived the aftermath that so many countries and cultures will be confronting in the months and years ahead, and his perspective couldn't be more relevant today. Moving, provocative and passionate, Dorfman offers both inspiration and a challenge to young activists today.

Howard University Protest in Support of Troy Davis

The George Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis today. This video shows highlights of a rally held by Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) at Howard University in support of Troy Davis as one part of the International Day of Action on September 16, 2011. Student involvement in the case has been especially strong.

Please take a moment and call Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm at 912-652-7308 and ask that he withdraw the death warrant.

Brooklyn College Faculty Condemn NYPD Infiltration of Muslim Student Group

This was reposted with permission from the invaluable studentactivism.net.

The faculty council of New York City’s Brooklyn College has unanimously condemned NYPD’s spying on the campus’s chief Muslim student organization, saying it has a “chilling effect” on academic freedom.

Documents made public earlier this month indicate that the New York Police Department has been monitoring Muslim student groups at seven local colleges – City, Baruch, Queens, Brooklyn, LaGuardia Community College and St. John’s. At Brooklyn and Baruch, the department sent undercover police officers to spy on the groups directly. St. John’s college is private, while the rest of those targeted are part of the City University of New York.

The NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim organizations was undertaken in concert with the CIA, whose inspector general is now investigating whether the Agency’s involvement violated the law.

The Brooklyn College resolution said that the faculty “opposes surveillance activities by the NYPD and affiliated agencies on our campus either directly or through the use of informants for the purposes of collecting information independent of a valid and specific criminal investigation,” and called on the college’s administration to reveal “their knowledge of or involvement in this surveillance and information gathering.”

Brooklyn College president Karen Gould, who took office in 2009, said the NYPD had not informed her administration of its spying.

Nation Interns Choose the Week's Most Important Stories (9/16/11)

Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week, and please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.

Angela Aiuto
Angela will be focusing on money in politics.

Fulfilling Kennedy’s Promise: Why the SEC Should Mandate Disclosure of Corporate Political Activity,” by John Coates and Taylor Lincoln. Public Citizen, September 2011.
Professor John Coates of Harvard Law School and Taylor Lincoln of Public Citizen make the case for mandatory disclosure of political spending by publicly traded corporations in a report showing—contrary to popular assumption—that politically active companies that disclose their activities are valued more highly than those that do not.

Cal Colgan
Cal will be following the drug war and human rights in Latin America.

Napolitano denies knowledge of Fast and Furious gun-tracking program,” by Jordy Yager. The Hill, Sept. 13, 2011.
Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano denied to a senate investigation committee that she had knowledge of the ATF's Fast & Furious program, a covert program where the bureau authorized the sale and distribution of assault weapons to straw-buyers for Mexican drug cartels in an effort to track the weapons. The botched operation has already resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, but top-ranking Obama administration officials are still denying prior knowledge of the program before ATF Director Kenneth Melson stepped down from his position.

Teresa Cotsirilos
Teresa will focus on "Global South" politics, or sociopolitical developments in areas of the developing world.

Wikileaks cable: Ethiopia reporter Argaw Ashine 'flees.’”  BBC, Sept. 15, 2011
After suffering repeated government interrogations, Ethiopian reporter Argaw Ashine has told the BBC that he has fled his country because he was cited in a US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks last month. Though Wikileaks denies that any "journalistic source" is named in the leaked cable, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) claims that this is the first instance in which a citation in a Wikileaks cable has caused direct repercussions for a journalist.

Paolo Cravero
Paolo will be following war, peace, and security.

The Journalist and the Spies: The murder of a reporter who exposed Pakistan’s secrets,” by Dexter Filkins. The New Yorker, Sept. 19, 2011.
I chose this piece because I read the book that Shahzad wrote, and I thought it was a really good piece of investigative work. I also believed that his work could have shed some light on the Pakistani regime, and that it could have contributed in setting the tone for a new roadmap toward transparency and conflict resolution in the region. I was deeply wrong.

Erika Eichelberger
Erika will be following the environmental movement.

Facing the Forests: Can community land management save forests—and fight climate change?” by Dorian Merina. The Caravan, May 1, 2011.
The UN has named 2011 the 'International Year of the Forests' and is focusing on local indigenous communities in the fight to protect forests worldwide and mitigate climate change. Dorian Merina's story, published in The Caravan in May, but equally relevant now, paints a vivid picture of community-managed forest preservation in the Philippines.

Josh Eidelson
Josh will be covering the labor beat.

Longshore Workers Dump Scab Grain to Protect Jobs,” by Evan Rohar. Labornotes, Sept. 8, 2011.
This week I'm watching the Washington State showdown between members of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) and a new management consortium set on doing their work without them. In a scene that's become rare in the US labor movement, workers from across the state have been blocking train tracks, defying a restraining order, and halting production.

Eli Epstein-Deutsch
Eli will be looking at the intersection of politics, ideas and economics from a macro perspective.

The Non-Scenic Route to the Place We’re Going Anyway,” by John Lanchester. London Review of Books, Sept. 8, 2011.
This piece by John Lanchester in the London Review of Books offers a very good, wide-angle account of the insanity of international austerity politics.

Collier Meyerson
Collier will be following discrimination.

A Racial Profiling Victim on 9/11 Shares Her Story,” by Arturo R. García. Racialicious, Sept. 14, 2011.
As we rounded the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 this past Sunday with a day-long commemoration of the lives lost in the tragedy, one woman, Shoshana Hebshi was removed from a plane and detained for appearing Arab. The incident serves as a harsh reminder for us work to affirm the honor of those wrongfully and unlawfully profiled.

Allie Tempus
Allie will be following human rights.

The pursuit of happiness: In Bhutan, progress is measured by how happy people are, not how much wealth people have,” by Robert Costanza. Al Jazeera, Sept. 13, 2011.
Following the recent transition of Bhutan from a monarchy to a democracy, the tiny country tucked between India and the Tibetan region of China revisits its 40-year-old gross national happiness—or "GNP"--initiative by polling its people directly. The piece, written by an American professor of sustainability, details the ways in which the more traditional measurement of GDP growth does not necessarily reflect social progress. It's refreshing to see human rights—such as clean natural resources and "recreational and spiritual opportunities"—addressed not as a response to crisis, but as a tool to prevent it.

Jin Zhao
Jin will be following the US’s image in international media.

China: Now With America's Attention Back,” by John Kennedy. Global Voices, Sept. 13, 2011.
Fully embracing the ideologies of democracy, freedom, and fairness, Chinese writer Yang Hengjun argues that the US has a track record of successfully defeating formidable enemies—such as the former Soviet Union—with its ideologies, a strategy that the US should stick to instead of engaging in the "War on Terror," which has greatly hurt its core strength. Critiquing Sino-US relations and China's undernourished democracy, the article reflects the keen interest that many Chinese hold in the US politics and foreign policy, and the Chinese perceptions of these issues, even though some may be overly romantic, naive or idiosyncratic.

Grinnell College Announces $300,000 Social Justice Prize

Last year, Grinnell College, a liberal arts institution in Iowa, launched a $300,000 annual prize to honor individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change.

The  "Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize" will recognize up to three individuals each year, and for each $100,000 in prize money, half will go to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of interest.

The program is in its second year, and was started under the leadership of Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington as a concrete reward for activists who continue in the liberal arts tradition to create concrete social change. “In creating this prize, we hope to encourage and recognize young individuals who embody our core values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world,” says President Kington.

The Nation commends Grinnell for sponsoring the award and encourages all eligible readers to apply for this prize, which is one of the largest of its kind available in the US.

Nominees may be US citizens or foreign nationals, and no affiliation to Grinnell College is necessary. Grinnell encourages entries across a wide range of fields, such as science, business, the arts, the environment, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross several fields.

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice award is open to all and will be accepting nominations from now through November 14th. Click here to nominate an outstanding young activist!

Little Love for Labor

I didn’t learn much about the labor movement in high school. At best, it was taught like suffrage—a long-ago response to long-ago problems. At worst, it was taught like prohibition—curious, misguided, and painfully anachronistic. Most of the time, my history classes didn’t discuss the labor movement at all.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one.

Last week the Albert Shanker Institute, a think tank endowed by the American Federation of Teachers, released a report, American Labor in US History Textbooks, documenting the movement’s compressed portrayal in our major textbooks. It offers a stark assessment: “If, while driving to school, students happen to see the bumper sticker: ‘Unions: the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend,’ that may be more exposure to American labor’s historic role as a force for social progress than they will ever get in the classroom.”

Three historians wrote the report after reviewing the main high school history textbooks of the four chains that together dominate the industry (if you’re an American high school student, chances are your textbook is one of them). They found that the textbooks portray strikes as violent, disruptive, and socially negative, while downplaying employers’ role in instigating violently repressing job actions. Social and economic reforms like the New Deal are credited to visionary politicians and the critical pressure from labor protests is studiously minimized. Social movements for civil rights and women’s equality are divorced from labor concerns or participation. With the exceptions of the United Farm Workers organizing and air traffic controllers getting fired, unions virtually disappear from the textbooks after 1960—as does workplace injustice.

The textbook The Americans tells students that President Truman “refused to let strikes cripple the nation,” and says that “Labor unions benefited” from the National Industrial Recovery Act, without mentioning their role in securing the historic legislation. United States History writes that the legacy of the Haymarket incident (the inspiration for May Day) was that, “Employers became even more suspicious of union activities, associating them with violence.” American Anthem mentions “images of workers being beaten or killed” as the kind of “negative publicity” General Motors had to avoid when its workers went on strike.

Taken together, such portrayals make it easy to come away with the sense that unions were an understandable response to sweatshop conditions in the past, but have been rendered unnecessary, and even counterproductive, given contemporary legal regulations and a more enlightened business class. Not coincidentally, that’s the impression you’d get from a lot of our newspapers, politicians, and TV shows too. Meanwhile, Walgreens fires an 18-year worker for grabbing a bag of chips to ward off a diabetic attack.

As the report's authors note, there are moral and strategic failures as well as successes in the history of the American labor movement, and students should be taught both the proud and the shameful. High schools that treat union members like free masons are doing students a disservice. They obscure important stories and ideas, while reinforcing familiar bad ones: that injustices that are bad enough will eventually get fixed without need for organizing; that what happens at work stays at work; that change comes from the top; that we should measure how democratic our economy is by how many products are available to buy.

The least we owe our students is to try to tell them the truth.

Vive Normal!

Last night, Eid celebrations, which mark the end of the thirty days of fasting observed by millions of Muslims around the world, came to an end. And even though I had eaten enough to induce an Eid coma, I still found myself curiously awake and semi-coherent at 4 am.

This alertness is only the vestigial remnant of a month spent waking in the middle of the night, drowning in exorbitantly disgusting amounts of food and water, offering morning prayers and sleepwalking back to bed—with the hopes that what has been consumed at 4 am will tide me over for seventeen hours, at which time I can break my fast.

Thus, above explains why I am sitting on my living room floor picking at a plate of food with my fingers at 4 am: it is simply a case of thirty days of conditioning.

But what about the lack of utensils and seating—one could assume I am simply following the sunnah (prophetic tradition) which suggests humbly sitting on the floor and using one’s hands (the right one, please) to eat. But the reality is that everything around me has been packed and duct-taped into cardboard boxes, in preparation for my family’s move to a new place.

So, it is in this state of semi-lucidity that I come across the Pew Center’s recent 136-page report. A report which looks at a topic that is Fox News’s, Michele Bachmann’s, (and just about everyone’s) current favorite fodder for discussion: Muslims in America.

The good and scientific people at the Pew Center, who last year revealed that Muslims will take over America in twenty years, this year add to their tome of investigations some more revelations.

It appears that Muslim-Americans are in fact, incredibly normal. And even though, normal is a setting on washing machines, that is indeed what Muslims are—normal to such extremes that some of us could even be classified as boring.

Of course, the banality of such an obvious-yet-not-so-obvious conclusion makes me want to simultaneously laugh and punch the screen, but I resist these urges, and in true fashion of the Islamic invocation to seek knowledge (even if it takes me to China), I click the requisite buttons to take me deeper into the study’s results.

The major parts of the study can be broken down simply as follows:

§ Muslim-Americans are “distinctly anti-terror,” with 48 percent even placing the onus on Islamic leaders within their own communities for failing to address extremism.

§ And when it comes to extremism—which, 21 percent support as compared to the general public’s hyper-inflated figure of 40 percent—60 percent of Muslim-Americans are significantly concerned with the rise of home-grown and foreign-imported extremism.

§ Simultaneously—despite a longstanding season of irrationality and much difficulty endured by those who find themselves victims of Islamophobia-induced, anti-Muslim hysteria—Muslim-Americans have not become disillusioned with this country.

§ And even though more than half of those surveyed admit that life in the US has become difficult in the post-9/11 era—with 52 percent reporting being singled out for “increased surveillance and monitoring”—82 percent of Muslims living in America are “overwhelmingly satisfied with the way things are going in their lives and continue to rate their communities very positively as places to live.” (Noteworthy is that this optimistic outlook is far higher in numbers compared to the 24 percent reported by the general public).

§ Lastly, similar to their non-Muslim counterparts, a group of Muslims, sitting at 10 percent report believing that the president shares their faith (in comparison to 18 percent reported by the general public). It is at least then refreshing and reassuring to know that what may bring some together is a mutual love for conspiracy theories.

So America, fancy statistical deductions seem to have stumbled across the nation’s worst kept secret. Your friendly neighborhood Muslim, just like you, likes pie and punk, dislikes terrorists and answers surveys.

Now, I return to my early morning meal, with the hopes that someday, soon, in the future, at least 82 percent of you will find such a study unnecessary.

Demanding Economic and Educational Reform in Chile

Tensions were high last night in Santiago as nearly 200,000 people gathered on street corners banging pots and pans in the wake of a massive midday march. The march marked the second and final day of a national labor strike that brought costumed students, families, professors and workers to the streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities.

At first, the protests were peaceful, though they later erupted in violence as hooded vandals set fire to schools, damaging private and public property and leading to inevitable confrontations with the police. In two days of protests, 1,394 people were detained, 153 police officers and fifty-three civilians were injured, and a 16-year-old student was killed by police.

Last night, Deputy Minister of the Interior Rodrigo Ubilla condemned the events. “Chile is not celebrating anything important today,” Ubilla said. “We have to be sad, because we have not been able to peacefully advance to resolve the great problems and challenges facing our country.”

The violence, which regularly flares up at large public protests in Chile, was magnified this week due to the huge number of citizens who took to the streets protesting the current education and economic system. Hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators participated in marches from the farthest cities to the north and south of Chile, united by the same desire: that the government would commit to working towards a quality, free, not-for-profit education for all students.

In the port city of Antofagasta, which lies 1,100 kilometers north of Santiago, about 12,000 demonstrators in the city of 400,000 filled the streets. Antofagasta police commander Carlos Cubillos said that the students generally don’t let their demonstrations become a problem for citizens. “It has been peaceful in Antofagasta because we have coordinated with the student directors,” he said.

Sebastián Quiróz, a 21-year-old medical student, described the protest environment in Antofagasta as peaceful and apolitical. He said that the movement has a “social consciousness that is trying to recuperate public spaces like education, recuperate it for the people, it will no longer be a private business.”

Lady Tapia marched with a group of female colleagues from a local nursery. “We don’t work today, but it is to help the children’s future,” she said. Tapia explained that many families face the decision as to whether they will purchase a home or send their child to school. Tapia, who said the majority of families who pay for the nursery’s service support the labor strike, had the day’s wages deducted from her government-funded salary. “It doesn’t matter, there is sacrifice in any war, and this is our sacrifice,” she said.

Gabriel Alvarez, an engineering professor at the University of Antofagasta, was already sitting on the steps of his university conversing with two other professors an hour before the march began. “Part of my studies was financed by the State. If I didn’t have that help, I wouldn’t be a professor right now,” Alvarez said.

Some of the majors, he explained, cost up to $650 a month, which is the typical starting salary for a professional. “There are some who, even though they work their whole lives, will never finish paying what they owe to the bank,” Alvarez said.

He also explained the connection between the quality of education and employee benefits. “There are professors who are really old but they have no incentive to leave the university because retirement pensions are really low,” he said. “They don’t actually want to work. They don’t even know how to send an attachment in an e-mail.” By increasing retirement benefits, older professors will have an incentive to retire, which will help create spaces for new, younger teachers.

The large demonstration in Antofagasta was an important step in reclaiming the city’s social spirit that has been lost because of the dictatorship and neoliberalism influence, said civil engineering student Cristián Daza. Antofagasta has both a high cost and high standard of living due to its distant desert location and the availability of high-paying jobs in the mining industry. “It’s hard to see that things aren’t as pretty as they try to make them appear,” said Daza.

Yet this education movement has taught Antofagasta residents that they need each other, he explained. “There is an error in the concept that says that a love for solidarity motivates people. That’s not true. It’s mutual help,” he said. He explained that the citizens of Antofagasta don’t come out to march because they like to march but because they need each other’s help in achieving education and economic reform. “We are here for future generations, which could include my brother, or my son,” said Daza. “That’s what motivates us.” His generation is the first to mobilize since the dictatorship without fear of government suppression.

Student organizer Alexandra Kala said, before the march even began, that she felt exhausted from the constant mobilization. But then she arrived and heard people yelling outside and was immediately energized. “One wakes up with the energy they don’t have, and they give it all,” said Kala.

The original six hunger-striking students, whose radical protest sparked much attenton for the movement, have put an end to their protest while nearly thirty students continue with a second hunger strike. Meanwhile, the government submitted its most recent reform proposal to students on August 18, hoping that lowered interest rates on loans and an increase in the number of scholarships available to families would placate the protesters.
 

This morning, First Lady Cecilia Morel made a comment that was far from what the mobilized population of Chile was hoping to hear. On the popular morning show Good Morning Everyone, she defended the Piñera administration’s argument that education could not be free for everyone in Chile with a populist feint. “Why should we use everyone’s resources to finance the richest 10 percent?” she questioned.

Camila Vallejo, president of the National Student Federation and the face of the education movement, tweeted a response to Piñera’s idea of economic justice. “Piñera is right. The richest should pay, but through a redistribution of revenue: tax reform now!”

Syndicate content