Students rally against sweatshops

Fifty UCLA students from United Students Against Sweatshops and other groups led an on-campus rally on May 2 to demand sweatshop-free collegiate apparel.

They demanded that Chancellor Albert Carnesale endorse the “Designated Suppliers Program,” which would require factories that make UCLA gear to comply with internationally recognized labor standards. After Carnesale refused to meet with students, the group rallied directly in front of his office.

Hip hop convention in Chicago

Chicago will host the July 19-23 National Hip Hop Political Convention under the slogan “Money, Power and Respect.” Organizers expect the event to be one of the largest youth-led civic education projects in U.S. history. They hope the meeting will energize the work of the hip hop community nationally by strengthening its coalitions, leadership and political direction. The convention aims to provide trainings to support 1,200 hip hop leaders nationwide, host 30,000 youth in various events, raise funds and register over 50,000 young adults to vote. See for more info.

New York law school expels Coca-Cola

City University of New York School of Law voted last week to ban Coca-Cola beverages in all campus vending machines, citing Coke’s brutal labor practices in Colombia. Student groups are prohibited from using school monies to buy any Coca-Cola products for campus meetings or other events. First year student Ashley Grant told the New York Sun, “We are a public interest law school and this was just such a glaring inconsistency.”

About two dozen colleges nationwide have already banned the sale of Coca-Cola products over the past several years, and the movement continues to spread to other schools.

Iowa high school students walk out in support of teachers

200 students at North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa, walked out of class May 1 in protest of budget cuts resulting in the loss of 10 faculty members at NSHS and NS Junior High. Out of a budget of less than $30 million, $1 million has been slashed within the past year.

“Not only do [the teachers] educate us for our future, they are our role models, our coaches and our friends,” wrote Jessica, who participated in the walkout, in a comment on the Quad City Times web site. “These are people who care; don’t take them away from us.”

— Pepe Lozano (