Battle: The L.A. schools

Summer 1982

The United States government is in headlong retreat from the principles of quality education, racial integration, and equal opportunity in the public school system. The political reactionaries who serve the needs of capitalist economics have targeted education for massive, crippling cutbacks. Crisis-ridden Los Angeles schools are no exception. The battles being fought in LA between… Read more »

Ideas banned at Berkeley

Fall 1982

As a featured speaker at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade last year, Merle Woo explained to 250,000 people what it was like to stand on the front lines of the fight for racial, sexual, and labor freedom. Woo’s speech, written in stirring poetry, was printed, broadcast, attacked, and defended all over the U.S…. Read more »

Words for my father

Spring 1983

MY COURT CASE IS OVER, the victory won, the cheers subsiding. But Merle Woo, my dear friend and awesome comrade, is not so fortunate. Her travail persists. There is no more fitting use of this column in this issue than to turn it over to Merle — Merle the poet, Merle the rebel, Merle the… Read more »

Free speech fight at Berkeley

Spring 1983

Chalk one up for Merle Woo and 2,000 other lecturers at the University of California. On December 2, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled that UC had committed an unfair labor practice in 1980 when it unilaterally reduced the maximum teaching term for lecturers from eight to four years. UC, said PERB, should… Read more »

Merle Woo’s labor/civil rights case: From campus to courtroom

Summer 1983

More than a year ago, Merle Woo packed up and left her office in Asian American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, chalking “I shall return” on the blackboard. Woo was fired from her lecturer’s position at the university in June 1982 because she’s a unionist, a radical, a lesbian, and she speaks… Read more »

Double Victory for Woo!

Winter 1983

As we go to press: On December 1, Judge Winton McKibbon, the state law and motions judge in Alameda County, CA, ruled that Merle Woo could proceed with her breach of contract suit, rejecting the University of California’s motion that the state court date be put off until her federal discrimination proceedings are completed. Woo… Read more »

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 »