Schoolchildren learn at botanical garden, natural history museum


This 29 March 2019 Dutch video is about school children in Leiden city, the Netherlands. The video shows how they learn in the local botanical garden and local museums, especially Naturalis museum.

Curaçao musicians start conservatory


This is a video series about Curaçao music.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Curaçao will get a conservatory. A number of leading musicians in Curaçao has joined hands with the University of Curaçao. The aim is to offer next academic year two four year undergraduate courses.

One is focused on training music teachers. The other program offers the opportunity to become a professional musician, including guitar, piano, percussion, brass instruments, woodwind instruments and vocals.

Randal Corson is a pianist, composer and former professor at three conservatories in the Netherlands. He teamed up with guitarist Cedric Dandaré, bassist Eric Calmes and singer Maria Sosa to initiate a conservatory on the island. ….

Curaçao has a glaring shortage of music teachers. “My old teacher, already over eighty, still teaches. But most schools do nothing about music. If you invest in that, talent will grow”, says Corsen.

“Therefore it is important that the academy provides training to become a music teacher. They can then teach in elementary schools.” …

Music scene

A conservatory can be a huge incentive for the various music venues on the island, thinks Corsen. “Remember that musicians have to survive on the island. They are forced to work commercially. This is at the expense of the cultural quality.”

German Liebknecht’s anti-World War I speech


This video says about itself:

14 January 2016

On the 15th January 1919, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were killed by members of the [extreme right paramilitary] Freikorps. The two German socialists were joint-founders of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany, and were captured following the Spartacist uprising that began on the 4th January.

Luxemburg and Liebknecht were members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany when Germany declared war in 1914. Frustrated by the wider SPD’s support for Germany’s declaration of war, they and other leftists created a separate organisation known as the Spartakusbund or Spartacus League. Named after the leader of the Roman Republic’s largest slave rebellion, the Spartacus League actively opposed the ongoing war. In 1916, both Luxemburg and Liebknecht were found guilty of high treason and imprisoned after they organised an anti-war demonstration.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 14 March 2016:

100 years ago: German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht denounces militarization of education

On March 18, 1916, Karl Liebknecht, the German revolutionary socialist and opponent of World War I, delivered a series of remarks in the German Reichstag, or parliament, denouncing the militarization of education and the glorification of war taking place in schools across the country. Liebknecht’s speech was one of a series in which he defied the Social Democratic majority, which had betrayed socialist internationalism by supporting the German war effort, and spoke out against the imperialist slaughter.

Liebknecht stated, “The ideal of classical education lies in the spirit of independence and humanity.” Addressing the government, and all of the pro-war parties, he said, “Your ideal of classical education is the ideal of the bayonet, of the bombshell, of poison gas and grenades, which are hurled down on peaceful cities, and the ideal of submarine warfare.”

He declared, “The higher schools are also used as practical helpers in the service of the present war. A systematic propaganda is conducted in them for the war loans, and gold is collected in them. … The schools are converted into training stables for the war. The physical upbuilding of the youth is encouraged now to attract new material for the Moloch, Militarism. Strengthening especially human health has thus as its aim the destruction of human life.”

He denounced the war propaganda promoted in schools, which focused exclusively on the crimes committed by Britain, France and the other Allied powers, and painted the actions of German imperialism in the brightest colors.

“In school must be taught, how this war arose, not only that the abominable murder of Sarajevo was an incident to inspire horror, but also the fact that the crime of Sarajevo was looked upon in many circles as a gift from Heaven, serving them as a war pretext,” he said. His reference to the fact that sections of the ruling elite had welcomed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist, seeing it as an opportunity to launch longstanding military plans, provoked outraged howls from the Conservative and opportunist Social Democratic deputies to the Reichstag.

Amid repeated interruptions, Liebknecht concluded with a call for a revolutionary struggle against the German government and the imperialist war, declaring, “To action! Those in the trenches, as well as those here at home, should put down their arms and turn against the common enemy, which takes from them light and air.” The president of the Reichstag called Liebknecht “to order” for the third time, and asked the deputies whether he should be allowed to continue to speak. Only a handful of socialist opponents of the war voted in favor.

Supreme Court justice Scalia wants Jim Crow schools for African American students


This video from the USA says about itself:

Antonin Scalia: Gay Rights Leads To Child-Abusers Rights

17 November 2015

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia still isn’t very happy about Supreme Court decisions protecting gay Americans.

During an appearance at Georgetown Law School on Monday, Scalia worried that the high court was choosing which minorities got certain protections, The New York Times reported. Scalia, an ardent originalist, said that the distinctions the court was making were not rooted in the text of the Constitution…

Read more here.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

US Supreme Court justice argues black students should attend inferior schools

12 December 2015

The US Supreme Court heard extended arguments December 9 regarding the validity of an affirmative action program at the University of Texas.

The case and the arguments, which were significant in themselves, were overshadowed by a provocative and racist diatribe by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he claimed that black students would be better off in “less-advanced” and “slower-track” schools.

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school, where they do well,” Scalia said.

Scalia claimed that “most of the black scientists in this country” come from “lesser schools” where they were not “pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

Repeatedly interrupting the attorney who was trying to argue the case, Scalia went on to declare that he was “not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” black students if certain affirmative action policies were discontinued. “Maybe it ought to have fewer,” he said.

Scalia’s words were carefully chosen—doubtless prepared in advance—as a direct appeal to racists. This is language that has not been heard in Supreme Court for decades, and the attorneys arguing the case were evidently stunned. The lawyer representing the University of Texas pointed out that this was essentially a proposal to send minorities to “inferior schools.”

Scalia’s words are an echo of the darkest days in the court’s history, when it upheld racial segregation in the infamous case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and chattel slavery in the Dred Scott case (1857).

It is significant that Scalia made his remarks in a case that originated in Texas. Annexed in 1845, Texas was a slave state and its regiments fought for the Confederacy. For a century after the end of the Civil War, the state constituted a bastion of Jim Crow apartheid, and Texas officialdom to this day remains a cesspool of Christian fundamentalism, bigotry, and corruption. It is clear that Scalia’s remarks are directed at those sections of American society that never fully accepted the civil rights reforms.

Scalia’s racist remarks came only two days after Republican candidate Donald Trump’s call to close the country’s borders to all Muslims. Scalia no doubt feels emboldened by this political climate.

… Racism and other backward prejudices are promoted and encouraged by the capitalist class and intensified in the imperialist epoch. The capitalist class dredges up the ideological filth of the past to divide the working class and to stampede popular support behind policies that benefit the ruling class, and which could not otherwise be justified. This is the class content of racism and bigotry.

Anti-Muslim hysteria, in particular, provides a clear example of this phenomenon. Hatred against Muslims is being deliberately promoted by the imperialist ruling classes around the world in order to justify domestic crackdowns and military aggression abroad, as part of the phony “war on terror.” Contrast the response in broad sections of the international working class to the Syrian refugee crisis—compassion, hospitality, and demonstrations for better treatment—with the attempts by political leaders to whip up fear and hatred.

In the US, the figure of Donald Trump expresses perfectly the relationship between imperialism and bigotry. The billionaire parasite, like every aspiring fascist politician before him, seeks to generate support for his policies by appealing to xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and religious bigotry. For socialists, the fight against Trump means shutting down the machine that produces Trumps—capitalism.

… The ugly reappearance of open racism in American politics, including on the Supreme Court, is a process parallel to the abrogation of democratic rights, the plundering of the economy, the shift towards dictatorship, and fifteen years of military aggression and brinksmanship.

Looking back at the 20th century, it should be clear to every class-conscious worker and student how very dangerous this is, and where it will lead if the working class does not intervene. The struggle to put an end to racism and bigotry must be a united struggle by the international working class against capitalism, the driving force of reaction.