Posts in: education

Merle Woo on feminism and free speech

Winter 1983

The following article is excerpted from a talk entitled “Feminism and Free Speech,” presented by Merle Woo at the National Women’s Studies Conference in Columbus, Ohio on June 29, 1983. All over the world today, working people, revolutionaries, people of color, lesbians and gays are denied their natural right to free speech. But they resist… Read more »

Medgar Evers College: Shall education serve the community?

Autumn 1984

In this era of rampant cutbacks in education, the fight by students, faculty, and staff to save Medgar Evers College (MEC) in Brooklyn, New York gives heart to the nationwide struggle to make education serve the needs of the community. Located in the largest Black community in the Western Hemisphere, MEC was established in 1971… Read more »

The Alison Thorne case: Australian teacher fights for free speech

Autumn 1984

A teacher’s right to speak publicly on controversial issues is at the heart of a battle being waged by Australian school teacher and lesbian socialist feminist Alison Thorne. On one side are Thorne, her union, civil liberties advocates, and feminist and lesbian/gay activists; on the other are vacillating public officials and a rightwing radio station… Read more »

Yellow Woman Captivates

Summer 1985

The redoubtable Merle Woo descended on Seattle recently and took the town by storm. One of the people she impressed was my colleague Helen Gilbert, who wrote a glowing account of Merle’s visit, to wit: “Merle is an Asian American socialist, lesbian, feminist, gifted poet, rousing orator, and a model of the joy of revolutionary… Read more »

Support for Teacher’s Free Speech Fight

Summer 1985

Lesbian educator Alison Thorne’s battle for teachers’ free speech rights continues to rock the Australian labor movement. Aligned on opposite sides of the fight are government officials of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and rank-and-file unionists who support Thorne. The rank and file are demanding that the ALP live up to its working-class program and… Read more »

Fired Australian Teacher Stands Fast

August 1986

If you don’t fight, you lose, goes the old political saying, and my experience has vividly confirmed its truth after two-and- one-half years of battling for free speech against an intransigent Australian State Labor government, some powerful media bigots, and an entrenched union bureaucracy. In November, 1983, while acting as a spokesperson for the Gay… Read more »

Legislating Language

September 1986

I first heard about the U.S. English movement in Bay Area Latino and Asian community newspapers. Activists and politicians quoted in these papers denounced it. I didn’t take it seriously, thinking that any movement to legislate English as the official language of California was merely an absurdity. Are the languages and cultures of the non-English-speaking… Read more »

Defending the right to be radical — Round two, Woo vs. U.C.-Berkeley

April 1987

It’s round two and déjà vu in Merle Woo’s match against the University of California at Berkeley. After winning a hard-fought free speech case against UC in 1984, which resulted in her reinstatement there, Woo has been fired again. Woo, an Asian American lesbian and radical activist, was fired the first time in 1982. She… Read more »

American Federation of Teachers Council rallies for Merle Woo

February 1988

When the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) refused even to consider reappointing Visiting Lecturer Merle Woo to a teaching position in June 1986, it seemed obvious the university had retaliated against Woo and violated the 1984 agreement that settled her earlier, multiple-discrimination case against them. It was obvious enough to Woo’s union, the University… Read more »

U.C. Berkeley stalls arbitration for Woo

June 1988

Merle Woo’s greivance against the University of California at Berkely was originally scheduled to go outside arbitration, the final step of the grievance procedure, this spring. But the university is stalling. UC Labor Relations has twice attempted to have arbitration postponed until summer when students, Woo’s core support, will be off campus. The Merle Woo… Read more »