Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SSU mtg and Lexington-area socialism study group

This Friday (12/14/11) at 7pm in the University of Kentucky Student Center, room 228:

The U.K. Socialist Student Union will be holding a quick, half-hour planning meeting to discuss the opportunity to get some grant money to organize a big convergence of socialist student organizers from around the region this spring. After the quick meeting, we're joining the Lexington-area Socialism Study Group (a collaborative effort of the U.K. SSU, CCDS and Friends, and others) to continue our study of Antonio Gramsci. Enku Ide will present on his research on Gramsci, followed by discussion, then food and festivities near campus for anyone who would like to stick around. As always, this is open to the public.

Please help spread the word!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tabling for Farmworker Justice

Joan Braune and Clayton Brown tabling on Thursday last week behind the UK Student Center, for the U.K. SSU and gathering signatures on postcards asking Kroger to agree to the demands of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Six UK students were involved with tabling for the SSU over the course of the week, and we have a great response and some great discussions throughout the week.

Next UK SSU meeting: Thursday, Sept. 22

The next UK SSU meeting will be this Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8pm at the Commonwealth Building, at 226 E. Maxwell St. (If you are used to attending our meetings, please note that this is a change from our usual meeting location.) As always, all are welcome.

Agenda includes:
*Event planning in solidarity with the farmworkers of Immokalee, Florida
*Upcoming "Funk the War" concert
*Our new reading group
*A carpool to big national antiwar demonstration
*Planning a gathering of students and groups from around the region to discuss socialist/left organizing on campuses

We had some great tabling on campus over the course of the last week and had a presence at a UK Greenthumb gathering of local groups involved in environmental justice/sustainability issues. Thanks to everyone who helped make that possible, or stopped by our table to say hi!

I'm looking forward to meeting Thursday! Please spread the word to others who may be interested.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Protest, Concert, Teach-in, and More

Our second meeting of the semester was as productive as the first, with ten people in attendance yet again and lots of good planning. Some stuff upcoming:
*A carpool to the October 6 protest in Washington, DC.
*Anti-war "Funk the War" concert on October 14 at Al's Bar
*A teach-in on the Immokalee Workers campaign for early November
*A meeting of various organizations from around the region about socialist/left organizing on campuses, tentatively scheduled for the weekend of November 11
*A socialist reading group is being formed!
Please feel free to contact us (, or the Facebook group, "U.K. Socialist Student Union") for more information or to get involved!

Monday, August 29, 2011

U.K. Socialist Student Union mtg Thursday

The next meeting of the U.K. Socialist Student Union is this Thursday (Sept. 1) at 7pm at Common Grounds Coffee House (343 E. High Street, Lexington). All are welcome.

Items on the agenda include:

  • Campaign for justice for Immokalee farmworkers (Kroger campaign)

  • "Funk the War" concert

  • Further action in solidarity with international struggles for affordable tuition?

  • Carpools to the School of the Americas protest and/or other big national protest

  • Recruitment and getting the word out about the SSU

  • Connecting with the BCTC SSU and other campus socialist groups in the region

It should be a great meeting! Please spread the word and come if you can.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Upcoming Tuesday Protest, and a Quick Update

(1) This isn't an official SSU event, but a comrade has asked us to spread the word: Louisville Jewish Voice for Peace is organizing a protest in Lexington for Tuesday, July 19, at 4pm at the TIAA-CREF office at 2365 Harrodsburg Road/South Creek Park. It is part of a national day of action sponsored by a range of organizations, calling on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that are producing weapons and military surveillance technology for the Israeli military. All are welcome; please spread the word. For more information about the local protest, contact Russ Greenleaf at 256-525-5290 or e-mail For more information about the national campaign, visit

(2) A quick update on the campaign for justice for the Florida tomato pickers: a few weeks ago, three SSUers went up to Cincinnati for a protest at the national office of Kroger, at Kroger's annual shareholders' meeting. We met with some activists from Ohio Fair Food campaign, the Cincinnati Interfaith Worker Center, and a delegate from a Florida group that's been working with the Immokalee Workers. Although Kroger is still recalcitrant, a Kroger representative did tell the activists' delegate at the shareholders meeting that Kroger knows there are customers concerned about the issue and that they are watching, keeping track of how much concern customers are showing. Let's keep the pressure on! Many thanks to the Lexington chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth for getting lots of postcard signatures in support of the campaign! It's been a pleasure collaborating with KFTC and other organizations to build a multi-organization campaign for farmworker justice!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Protesting ALEC in Cincinnati

On Friday, April 29, a delegation of five SSUers and friends joined over two hundred people in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at a protest against ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful right-wing think tank. ALEC has pushed anti-union laws in the Midwest, the infamous anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 in Arizona, the Voter ID act that makes it more difficult for students and others to register to vote, and a host of other horrible pieces of legislation that prioritize profit over people. ALEC has many powerful corporate members, including private prison companies that profit from draconian immigration policies.

Left to right: Joan Braune, Greg Capillo, Matt Heil, John O'Shea, Enku Ide

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rand Paul, our schools are not for sale!

Senator Rand Paul, Tea (Party) connoisseur and apparent enemy of social services, paved roads and other nice things made possible by government funding, was in town on Monday, giving a speech at a fancy luncheon and book signing hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Paul has been calling for an end to all federal education funding, privativization of all schools, and even the abolition of the Department of Education. This would be devastating for students, teachers, and staff, with tuition already sky-rocketing and wages/salaries declining. So we found it a bit ironic--to say the least--that the Paul event was sponsored by (amongst other organizations and corporations) the University of Kentucky and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. We didn't feel that Rand's policies represented us.

The BCTC and UK SSUs quickly organized a protest:

We received many wonderful honks of support from passing drivers! We were also interviewed by the Lexington Herald-Leader, but they did not mention the protest in their article about the event in today's paper, which stressed Paul's plan to run to President (ahhh!). An annoyed letter-to-the-editor might be in order.

Friday, April 15, 2011

From the Lexington Courthouse Plaza to Cincinnati!

Our antiwar rally at the courthouse and subsequent SSU meeting last Saturday were well-attended, lively, and three people even came in all the way from Louisville! We also got some press coverage from the local ABC affiliate. It was be out on the streets as thousands were marching all over the country for an end to the wars abroad and for prioritizing human needs over the burgeoning U.S. defense budget.

Coming up: Our next major effort is a carpool from Lexington to Cincinnati on Friday, April 29 to attend the big national rally against ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a right-wing think-tank whose shenanigans recently became public thanks to a Wisconsin professor (whose private e-mails the GOP demanded to see, in retaliation). ALEC has pushed union-destroying anti-labor laws in the midwest and anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona (the famous SB 1070, which encouraged racial profiling by police and led to the movement to "Boycott Arizona"). If you're interested in joining the carpool, either hitching or offering rides, please contact me at, and let me know.

Stay tuned for updates about our participation in a growing Kentucky movement in solidarity with the immigrant farmworkers of Immokalee, Florida (about the Immokalee Workers, visit:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rally: "Fund Our Future, Not the Wars!"

As the war in Iraq drags into its ninth year, a new military intervention is launched into Libya, and the rights of U.S. workers are under attack, we join together to demand real change. Billions of our tax dollars are spent on war, while many of us struggle with joblessness, foreclosure, and rising tuition costs, as we struggle to make ends meet. Let's tell our leaders...

"...Fund Our Future, Not the Wars!"

Saturday, April 9, 3 pm

Courhouse plaza (Main and Limestone, across from public library), Lexington, KY

Speakers, music, march, and (optional) die-in! Some signs provided, but bring your own if you like. All are welcome; please spread the word!

Organized by: Bluegrass Community and Technical College Student Socialist Union (BCTC SSU), University of Kentucky Socialist Student Union (UK SSU)

Co-sponsors include: BCTC Students for Peace & Earth Justice, Kentucky Unified National Antiwar Committee, Socialist Action

Thursday, March 31, 2011

UK SSU Forum on the War on the Working Class

Join the UK Socialist Student Union on Monday, April 4, at 7pm in Room 228 of the UK Student Center on Euclid Avenue, for a forum about the War on the Working Class! All are welcome.

We will be discussing the current attacks on the rights of labor (in Wisconsin and elsewhere) and U.S. involvement in wars abroad. We'll be showing a short clip from a recent documentary about the immigrant farmworkers organizing in Immokalee, Florida, and will have a speaker or two. Stay tuned for updates!

There's a war on the working class going on right now in this country, and workers are fighting back. Meanwhile, our country's leaders are more intent than ever upon cementing the power of the capitalist class abroad through military force, as the Iraq war drags into its ninth year and an intervention is launched into Libya (but not, note, into neighboring countries whose governments are allies of U.S. imperialism, but which are are also slaughtering demonstrators). Come and discuss!

Monday, April 4 is a national day of action for the rights of labor this year. It was chosen since it is the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, who was fighting for the rights of Memphis sanitation workers at the time of his death. We want to keep his struggle alive.

There's also a rally in the works for later in the week, for the rights of workers and against U.S. imperialism; more info on that coming soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great rally and meeting, and more in the works!

The antiwar war rally on Sunday, organized by the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, was well-attended, with about 100 people and lots of energy.

Afterwards, thirteen of us gathered at Third Street Stuff for a lively U.K. SSU meeting. It was a really great planning meeting. We've decided to organize a forum for April 4, which is a national day of action on labor issues and the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The forum will link labor rights issues to the problem of war, addressing the ongoing war on the working class, from the "shock doctrine"-style (cf. Naomi Klein) attack on collective bargaining rights in the midwest, to the exploitation of immigrant farmworkers in Florida, to the continuation of U.S. imperialist war. If you'd like to help with organizing the forum, please get in touch: We need all the help we can get to make this a successful event!

Thanks to all who were able to attend the rally and/or the meeting. More to come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

UK SSU mtg Sunday at 3, after the antiwar rally

Hi all! There will be a short U.K. Socialist Student Union meeting on Sunday (March 20) at **3pm at Third Street Stuff coffeehouse** on Limestone and 3rd. All are welcome.

This Sunday is the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. There's an antiwar rally--"Invest in Peace, Not in War"--at 2pm, sponsored by the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, in front of the courthouse on Limestone and Main (across from the main public library). After the rally, which should last about an hour, there will be a quick U.K. SSU meeting at the nearby coffeehouse.

The main item on the agenda is the ongoing campaign to get the Kroger grocery store chain to agree to the demands of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, to provide a living wage for immigrant farmworkers in Florida who pick Kroger's tomatoes. We might also get an update from some folks who were recently in Wisconsin, joining in solidarity with protesters there defending collective bargaining rights. Ideas for further actions are welcome.

A shout-out to our comrades in the BCTC SSU, many of whom are in Washington, DC this weekend at the big national antiwar march there. We'll miss them at this meeting but will catch up soon to strategize and find out how the DC march went!

Looking forward to Sunday! Please help spread the word.