Nov. 17: MI Day of Action to Overturn Prop 2, Restore Affirmative Action

BAMN November 16, 2011 Affirmative Action, Dream Act, Immigrants Rights Comments Off on Nov. 17: MI Day of Action to Overturn Prop 2, Restore Affirmative Action

Say No to the New Jim Crow!
Realize Dr. King’s Dream in Michigan!

Day of Action to Defend Affirmative Action

Rally & March

November 17 at 12Noon

Gather on the UM Diag

  • Increase Black, Latina/o, Native American and Other Underrepresented Minority Student Enrollment Now!
  • In-state Tuition for Michigan’s Undocumented Students & Pass the DREAM Act
  • Defend Public Education: No Budget Cuts, No Tuition Hikes!
  • Build the New, Integrated, Student-led Civil Rights/Immigrant Rights Movement to Win Equality, Justice and Democracy for All!

BAMN’s recent victory for affirmative action at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opens up a historic opportunity for UM students to lead, as we have before, a powerful national movement to defend affirmative action and public education, and to move our society forward toward integration and equality. On July 1, 2011, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati struck down Proposal 2, the referendum that banned affirmative action in Michigan in 2006. The Court ruled in favor of BAMN’s argument that Prop.2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying racial minorities the equal right to obtain protections from discrimination.

The Movement Will Determine Whether We Find Victory or Defeat

This is a very important victory, but this fight is far from over. Now, the Sixth Circuit Court as a whole is set to re-hear the case March 7, 2012 and any decision will then be appealed by one side or the other to the Supreme Court. In every court, at each step, the decision will be close. Whether we end in victory or defeat will be determined by the ability of our new movement to mobilize the tremendous popular support we have in order to shift the balance of power in favor of the oppressed.

Increase Minority Enrollment NOW!

On November 17th, we are holding a march and rally in Ann Arbor to defend our victory for affirmative action and to demand that the University increase minority enrollment now. The ban on affirmative action has created discriminatory admissions policies that have not only led to a precipitous drop in underrepresented minority enrollment, but have also created a hostile climate for minority students, and for women on this campus and every other university in Michigan. November 17th is an opportunity to express our indignation and our unity in the fight against racism, sexism, anti-lgbt bigotry and to make clear that we will not accept second-class treatment any longer. It is also an opportunity to launch a broader movement in Michigan to undo Proposal 2

Affirmative Action = Acknowledgement of Racism in America (and our determination to do something about it)

The significance of the fight for affirmative action goes far beyond a legal battle for a set of policies; it’s a political struggle that has and will continue to determine the direction of the nation. The legal case provides an opportunity to build a movement that can not only defend and restore the gains of the last civil rights movement, but make new gains toward full integration and equality.

Attack on Affirmative Action Paved the Way for Attack on Public Education

The attack on affirmative action has paved the way for the attacks on K-12 integration plans, and the unprecedented attacks on public education, including the increased privatization of U of M. The University’s overwhelming reliance on private funding is stifling the intellectual freedom, social criticism and honest scientific inquiry that are the hallmarks of a great public university.

End the Corporatization of Higher Education

We came to U of M for the opportunity to seek the truth and act on it, not to become the mouthpieces of private interests. We have to defend our right to be ourselves, and to learn and develop our talents and creativity to the fullest potential. Fighting to restore affirmative action is the key to the whole student-led struggle to defend public education and make U of M and all our universities integrated, diverse, affordable centers of progress and critical thinking

No More Second Class Treatment

We are part of a national fight. Students in California are making the same fight to overturn Proposition 209, their version of Prop 2. The immigrant rights movement that began with the student walkouts and mass marches of 2006 just won the passage of the California DREAM Act, which opened public state-funded scholarships to California’s undocumented students. This victory places us in an even stronger position if we build on its momentum to put an end to second-class treatment everywhere, defend affirmative action and public education, and to increase underrepresented minority student enrollment.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of gifted undocumented students in Michigan are still denied the opportunity to attend college because they are discriminatorily denied access to financial aid.

The Dream Act: Expanding the Democratic Right to an Education

Even worse, many universities, including the University of Michigan, charge undocumented students who are from Michigan out-of-state tuition simply because they do not have papers. Our movement must put an end to this new Jim Crow policy of separate and unequal. In Michigan, each university can make its own rules regarding tuition rates for undocumented students. Western Michigan University charges in-state tuition to undocumented students; U of M could easily do the same. Winning such a policy as well as creating campus-based DREAM Act scholarships would push forward the fight to win state and federal DREAM Act legislation. As Michigan’s leading public university, U of M should be leading the way in defending an expanding the democratic right of every student to a public education.

Independent, Integrated, Student-led Mass Action Is the Key to Victory

In 2003, BAMN organized 50,000 young people, including 20 busloads from U of M, to march at the U.S. Supreme Court on the day that Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case, was argued. We won Grutter because of that mobilization.

To persuade the courts to rule in our favor, we need to build a mass movement and mobilize like we did in 2003, and bigger. The strength of our movement will determine everything, not only if we win in court; it will also determine whether the University implements policies to increase minority enrollment both before and after the Court’s ruling.

Mobilize for March 7 Hearing at Court of Appeals in Cincinnati!

We are calling on students and youth throughout Michigan to join in leading this fight to overturn Prop. 2 and defend our fundamental right to an equal quality public education from pre-k through grad school. Join us in circulating the petition to defend affirmative action, organizing for the march in Ann Arbor on November 17th, and mobilizing people to Cincinnati on March 7, the day the Appeals Court hears our case.

Help Defend Affirmative Action in Michigan. Join BAMN!



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About The Author

BAMN is a mass, democratic, integrated, national organization dedicated to building a new mass civil rights movement to defend affirmative action,integration, and the other gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and to advance the struggle for equality in American society by any means necessary.

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