Last Tuesday, November 4th was truly a historic day. Why? You guessed it, in Providence, Rhode Island, people poured through the doors of Salomon Hall, passed the voting booths stationed inside, and streamed down the stairs for the first stop of the east coast leg of the Teaching Rebellion speaking tour. Read more about the first week of the East Coast tour below…
***NOTE: due to an unfortunate incident in Oaxaca, we are currently without a camera, we will update the page with photos as soon as event organizers send them to us. NOTE to event organizers: Please send us your photos!***
In the last week the tour has passed through institutional and non-institutional spaces alike, at Brown University and the Olneyville Neighborhood Association in Providence Rhode Island; two events at Keene State University in New Hampshire and Everyone´s Books in Brattleboro Vermont organized by Educational Praxis, a network of educators working in the area and different parts of the world; a discussion with Unidad Latina en Acción en New Haven, Connecticut; and finally in New York City, with events at Bluestockings Books, the 123 Community Space in Bedstuy, and tonight at the Surreal Estate space in East Williamsburg.
Both events in Providence, November 4th at Brown and November 5th at the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, drew between 15 and 20 people and provided for interesting but distinct discussions given the varied experiences that folks at the two events came from. While the event at Brown had something more of an academic feel to it, the presentation the following day counted with the presence of IWW members, community organizers and others whose experiences contributed to a more animated participation.
The following day, upon receiving news that the event at Yale University had been cancelled, we nevertheless continued to New Haven for a meeting with Unidad Latina en Acción, an group working out of the area organizing to defend migrants rights and strengthen and bring together the Latina community. With perspectives from Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia and other parts of Latin America, the questions tended to relate more to other struggles, past and present, throughout Latin America than focusing on that of north-south solidarity. The central question emerged of how to most effectively create communication networks throughout the hemisphere in order to connect struggles across borders, alluding to the network of safe houses created in the united states during slavery that comprised the underground railroad, and how to break down the borders that exist within each of us in the struggle for a world without borders.
From New Haven, the route hiked north to that “other” border region, the New Hampshire-Vermont border where questions of identity and maple syrup are hotly contested. We were received warmly by educators from the group Educational Praxis, who work challenging racist and classist mentalities in and out of the schools in the region, in addition to collaboration with the School for International Training (SIT) and educational efforts throughout the world. Around 90 people turned out for the event surpassing not only our expectations, but those of many organizers as well. After a presentation of the book and a bit of the history and context of the struggle, past and present, in Oaxaca, the floor was opened up for questions and discussion amongst the diverse crowd that included everyone from students just beginning a process of investigation of neoliberal economic policies to seasoned educators and activists. Discussion continued into the night over dinner and the following day for a book signing at Everyone’s Books in Brattleboro Vermont. Around midday we packed the van, bought some maple syrup (from vermont, sorry new hampshire), fixed a flat tire and made tracks for new york city.
In new york, things got underway on Sunday November 9th with a well attended event at Bluestockings books, and continued the following day in the evening at the 123 community space in BedStuy, Brooklyn. We want NOT to thank ConEdison for their solidarity, as they have cut the electricty off at the space about 2 months ago – but nevertheless, with a little improvisation and plenty of candles, we held a discussion with about 10 folks introducing the context of Oaxaca and sharing stories and experiences with all of those who came out. A note to the people who didn’t make it out, or didn’t enter the space thinking that it was a candlelight vigil and not a book presentation: we hope to see you tonight at 7 p.m. at the Surreal Estate Space off of the Morgan Ave. L stop in Brooklyn. Keep up the struggle, New England, and thanks for the chowder!