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R.I.P. Howard Zinn January 28, 2010

Posted by Andreas in activism, anarchism, History, Politics, Society.
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“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it. “

Howard Zinn: August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010

“For every seat in the new Cape Town stadium…” January 27, 2010

Posted by Andreas in "The Economy", activism, Cape Town, Politics, Quotes, Society, South Africa.
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A shocking fact of the day from Equal Education, one of the most dynamic and awesomely brilliant NGOs in South Africa:

” for every 7 seats in the 68 000 capacity R4,5bn stadium in Cape Town we could have had a brand new fully stocked school library.”

The equivalent of more than 9000 school libraries

Some relevant facts, again from Equal Education:

  • Only 7% of public schools in South Africa have functional libraries of any kind. (DoE’s* 2007 NEIMS Report.)
  • These 7% of public schools that have libraries are the former model-C schools who are able to establish libraries and employ librarians through their own funds, collected through fees.
  • Since 1997 the DoE has produced 6 drafts of a national school libraries policy. None have been adopted as official policy.
  • The DoE offers no specialists school librarian posts. All posts are for teachers, and most schools cannot spare a teacher to run the library because of high learner:teacher ratios.
  • The DoE closed its School Libraries Unit in 2002.
  • In November 2008 the DoE published for comment ‘National Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure’ which, in tables 15 and 18 states that every large primary school and every large secondary school should have a library of 80m2. The regulations still remain unconfirmed by the Minister and therefore are of no assistance to teachers, learners or education planners.

(*DoE = Department of Education)

A Sea Change January 14, 2010

Posted by Andreas in Cape Town, Climate change, Environment, Film screening, Global warming.
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A Sea Change – a beautifully shot documentary that explores the devastating effects that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are having on the world’s ocean – will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 24 January at 8.15pm, on Monday 25 January at 6:15pm and on Tuesday 26 January at 6:15pm.

Imagine a world without fish. It’s a frightening premise and it’s happening right now.

The threats of climate change are on everyone’s lips, but have you heard about the other shocking effects of steadily rising carbon dioxide levels? Ocean acidification is something that is threatening the oceans and life as we know it, yet alarmingly, this is an issue that few of us have even heard about!

A Sea Change follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this “sea change” bodes for humanity. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of.

A Sea Change

Speaking with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists and artists, Sven discovers that global warming is only half the story of the environmental catastrophe that awaits us. Excess carbon dioxide is dissolving in our oceans, changing sea water chemistry. The more acidic water makes it difficult for tiny creatures at the bottom of the food web to form their shells. The effects could work their way up to the fish one billion people depend upon for their source of protein.

A Sea Change is a touching portrait of Sven’s relationship with his grandchild Elias. As Sven keeps a correspondence with the little boy, he mulls over the world that he is leaving for future generations. A disturbing and essential companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, A Sea Change brings home the indisputable fact that our lifestyle is changing the earth, despite our rhetoric and wishful thinking.

A Sea Change is the first documentary about ocean acidification. Chock full of scientific information, the feature-length film is also a beautiful paen to the ocean world.

For more information consult the official website: www.aseachange.net

The screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by the Labia, the Sustainable Seas Trust and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.