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December 11, 2006

Gallaudet: Robert Davila, Interim President

Gallaudet has named Robert Davila as interim President. There is also a video of the announcement in English and ASL. Video is nearly 44 minutes, rather lengthy but they are communicating with national and possibly international stakeholders in the university.

From the video announcement, they recognise the international interest in the university. Maybe they did read all those open letters?

Its a shame UK organisations aren't following suit, where's the online videos of major events and announcements?

December 6, 2006

Gallaudet: Final 3 interim candidates

Final three interim candidates for Gallaudet has been announced as: Robert Davila, William Marshall and Stephen Weiner

November 30, 2006

13 applications at Gallaudet, an international perspective

13 people have applied to become the interim President of Gallaudet. These people cannot expect to fulfill the position on a permanent basis. The interviews take place on 9 December.

It is shame that other countries (through oppression) does not have such a broad base of qualified people to choose from (because of inaccess to education, experience in the first place), which results in oppression in terms of challenging something. Thought goes down the line of, if I challenge, what is the alternative?

October 30, 2006

It's 1968 All Over Again At University For The Deaf

There's some bad reporting out there, in reaction to the expensive PR spin employed by the university in recent weeks, instead of talking direct to its own community. Reporting as usual has missed on a few points, and fundamental problems with why this whole issue became a mess in the first place. Even the Washington Post, with all its collaborative spin over recent weeks, has comments from its brainwashed readers.

There is a need for an official GUFSSA release in response to officialdom asap, just to feed the media with the other side.

The title of this post came from this article. Best tagline I've read for a long time.

October 29, 2006

A Further Statement by the Trustees

TO: Gallaudet University
FROM Board of Trustees
DATE: October 29, 2006
RE: Statement of the Board

"The Board of Trustees respects the right of people to express their views in a peaceful manner. However, individuals who violated the law and Gallaudet University's Code of Conduct will be held accountable. We expect the University to honor its long tradition of respect for each other and property and to return to normal."

Statement by I. King Jordan

Signature: Gallaudet University - Public Relations/Visitors Center

Statement by I. King Jordan

“The struggle during the past several months has been very painful for all of us. I am deeply troubled by the divisions among us and by the anger that overtook reason, respect, and civility.

“Now we must all come together for the sake of Gallaudet, particularly for the sake of Gallaudet's students--those who are our students now and those who will be students in the future.

“I want to thank Jane Fernandes for her dedication and courage and her standing up for what's right. I am personally saddened--for Gallaudet and for Dr. Jane K. Fernandes--that she will not have the opportunity to show Gallaudet and the world what a great president she could have been. Her vision and her plans to make that vision come to life would have guided the university we all love into a bright future. The Board of Trustees saw that promise when they selected Dr. Fernandes as president. In order to resolve the current stalemate the Board has deemed it necessary to steer a different course, and I accept their decision. Now we must all put down our weapons of words and seek to restore a sense of community.

“In my Town Hall speech last November I said there is more that unites us than divides us. I think we lost sight of that for a time and we must work together to refocus on the core values that unite us. We should not look for a resolution to the struggle of recent months in terms of winners and losers. If we do, Gallaudet and our students will
be the losers.”

Statement by Jane K. Fernandes

“It is with deep regret that I heard the Board’s decision to terminate my contract.

“I love Gallaudet University and I believe I could have made a significant contribution to its future. I hope that the Gallaudet community can heal the wounds that have been created. I trust that we all want a stronger, better, more inclusive Gallaudet where ASL and Deaf culture have been and always will be at the core of academic and community life.”

BoT finally listened

Signature: Gallaudet University - Public Relations/Visitors Center

TO: Campus Community

FROM: Board of Trustees

DATE: October 29, 2006

RE: Board of Trustees Meeting

Today, we announce with much regret and pain that after serious deliberation in a special, all-day Executive Session of the Board of Trustees, we have voted to terminate Dr. Fernandes' appointment as President-Designate (currently effective) and President (effective beginning January 1, 2007) at Gallaudet University.

We understand the impact of this decision and the important issues that inherently arise when a Board re-examines decisions in the face of an on-going protest. The Board believes that it is in the best interests of the University to terminate Dr. Fernandes from the incoming President's position. Although undoubtedly there will be some members of the community who have differing views on the meaning of this decision, we believe that it is a necessity at this point. The Board is continuing to meet to discuss transitional issues.

It has certainly been a difficult and trying time for our Gallaudet community. Now is the time for healing. The hope of the Board of Trustees is for our beloved community to come together to work for a stronger and better Gallaudet.

October 24, 2006

14 Presidents resigned in 2006, and counting

The number of Presidents that had been forced to resign in 2006, came up during our research for the letter sent from the UK, where amongst other things, we stated:

"This year alone there have been protests leading to resignations in 9 other USA universities, including Harvard. In the UK in August 2006, South Kent College suspended their Principal after 2/3rds of the faculty and staff expressed no confidence in him.

These are examples of avenues and actions which democratic societies are able to avail themselves of whenever a situation has been allowed to escalate to a point where “the letter of the law” has been found wanting."

In an attempt to cut through the politics from another country, we came down to 9 institutions with some help. We had thought about listing these places, but our letter was long enough and points already becoming buried. The point was later stated by Dr. Paddy Ladd, in the Times article.

Bibliomarket states that they have been doing more research prompted by the Times article, and in fact there's more 2006 resignations. They identify additional institutions as:

Manny M. Aragon, New Mexico Highlands
Louis Caldera, University of New Mexico
Judith I. Bailey, Western Michigan University

More information around this, over at their blog.

To add to this, via Tent City UK we've found a further 3 more Presidents:

President Karl E. Burgher, University of Maine at Presque Isle.
President Judith I. Bailey, Western Michigan University
President Kevin Rameriz, Sierra College, Sacramento

We don't know if 14 institutions a comprehensive, further research could unearth more examples. As someone observed, "... it could be more [resignations] .... that may not have been picked up by other writers, mostly because this particular college is a small one and not too well known."

Yet the bottom line is, when a vote of no confidence happens at these institutions, through a democratic process these people leave. It doesn't appear to be happening here, issues get detracted, and we urge this point to be pushed.

9 Universities

In The Times article by Tent City UK, it was mentioned that 9 universities that have thrown out a President in 2006. Here is a list with dates:

January 27 - Carol C. Harter, University of Nevada at Las Vegas
February 1 - Paula D. Cunningham, Lansing Community College
February 21 - Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University
March 15 - Edward R. Hundert, Case Western Reserve University
April 17 - Priscilla D. Slade, Texas Southern University
May 2 - Jesus Carreon, Dallas County Community College District
May 3 - Scott D. Miller, Wesley College (Del.)
May 4 - Lloyd W. Benjamin III, Indiana State University
May 15 - R. Wayne Branch, Clark College

Hearing are allowed to protest, and people actually listen! Deaf - ignored? Get called terrorists for speaking out? Why doesn't it get pushed as a point of discrimination?

TentCity UK makes Times Online!

Link to the article is here. Shame about the comments!

October 21, 2006

Live TentCity UK Updates

Live updates here at the official website now!

October 19, 2006

10 Main Reasons for a Tent City

Why we are supporting the protest against Gallaudet University

The protest is against the designated election of Jane K. Fernandes, who is due to take up her position as President of the University on January 2007 – the protesters have serious concerns regarding her election and have been protesting against this since May 2006.

THE 10 MAIN REASONS FOR A TENT CITY

1. Mass arrests of Deaf people in Washington D.C.

134 students were arrested in Washington D.C., at Gallaudet University, the only Deaf university in the world, on 13th October 2006. This was the biggest mass arrest of anyone in Washington D.C. since the 1960s.

2. Arrests were carried out in the dark, and ordered by the President of the University

Deaf people communicate visually – so how are deaf people expected to communicate in the dark while being arrested? The arrests were ordered by Irving King Jordan, President of Gallaudet University.

3. The Presidential search process was flawed; there are allegations of racism

All candidates were white, in spite of the university having a diverse range of staff and students. One of the applicants was an African-American, Dr. Glenn Anderson, who was not even shortlisted, even though he has a PhD and years of experience at the University of Arkansas plus other institutions. Instead, another person was shortlisted, Ron Stern (white) who is still in process of securing his doctorate degree and has no college administration experience.

Why did a person with less experience and qualifications make the final shortlist? Where was the fair selection?

It was African-Americans who first protested against the appointment of Jane Fernandes, on a point of racism.

4. Jane Fernandes secured her position as Provost at the university by improper means

For 6 years Jane Fernandes has held the position of Provost at Gallaudet. She got this position, through an improper process. Prior to this she was Vice President of the Clerc Center. In 2000, The Faculty Senate objected to the improper appointment of Jane Fernandes to the Provost position and reprimanded Dr. Jordan, which he admitted and apologised for wrongdoing (in 2000). He did not undo the process but allowed her to remain as Provost. For more information, see Dr. Carol Erting, Senator, University Faculty Senate, Professor and Chair, Department of Education

5. Jane Fernandes has shown poor leadership qualities in her time as Provost

There is evidence that Jane Fernandes has failed in her leadership on campus over 11 years in her two positions. Promises made were not followed through, including issues on racism. There have also been accusations of audism (i.e. discrimination against deaf people).

6. Protests against Fernandes have come from teachers and parents

There have been open letters from teachers and staff of the Clerc Center National Deaf Education Center (a model school) on Gallaudet campus detailing their experience under Dr. Fernandes' leadership. Amongst other points, teachers and staff who have deaf children were threatened, personally and professionally, for not enrolling their children at Kendall or MSSD. The letter can be seen here. A former head's letter.

7. Regular votes of no confidence have been shown against Jane Fernandes

There was a vote of no confidence by the Gallaudet faculty, in spring 2006. Nothing was done about this.

There was a vote of no confidence, again by the Gallaudet faculty, in October 2006. Of all the faculty staff, 138 staff wanted Fernandes out, and only 26 voted for her to stay.

8. It is vital that there is Unity For Gallaudet!

Without unity, the university will lose its support of people and in turn reputation. You cannot lead if the majority do not want you there; when there have been votes of no confidence in your leadership, and when you refer to peacefully protesting citizens as "terrorists", and do so in a RADIO interview.

9. Prominent people and academics are growing in their calls for Fernandes to resign

Open letters of concern have come from prominent people, professionals ranging from a former headmaster, attorneys, clergy, professors, Presidents of deaf associations, etc, in the deaf community, all calling for resignation. Fifty other tent cities have been set up in support of the protestors and calling on Fernandes to give up her designated election.

10. A bad track record

The leaders of the previous mass protest at Gallaudet in 1988 wrote: "The campus community has already experienced her arrogant, vindictive, autocratic, and retaliatory style of leadership...Dr. Fernandes has earned few admirers on campus which has led to concerns from students, staff, and alumni as well as financial contributors to the university."

For those interested in reading more, please read the "Must Read" page on the official protest blog

Tent City UK

We have a location for Tent City UK!

After several days of frantic phoning around, trying to find somewhere to put up tents in Central London for free, we can announce the location is:

The garden of Friends House, opposite Euston Station! Convenient for those who are travelling to London.

Right in the heart of London! Here’s a map:

tentcity.gif

See you there on Saturday at 2pm. (That gives you enough time to watch SeeHear, then come down!)

Please post in the comments if you can bring a tent - we’d like to know how many tents are coming.

None so deaf as those who won't hear: British Deaf show support to Gallaudet University faculty and students



PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday 18th October 2006

None so deaf as those who won't hear: British Deaf show support to Gallaudet University faculty and students

On Friday 13 October, over 130 Deaf people were arrested in Washington D.C. in what has been labelled as 'Black Friday'. Police were quoted as saying that the biggest mass arrests in Washington D.C. since the 1960s were authorised by I. King Jordan, President of Gallaudet University, where the protests were occurring. Arrests took place in the dark, creating a dangerous situation for protestors who rely on visual communication.

Protesters were objecting to the appointment of Jane K. Fernandes, President-Designate. They claim both a 'rigged' selection process and serious long-standing concerns about her administrative abilities, said to have alienated many people in her previous posts. They also insist that numerous calls of concern requesting that Fernandes not be chosen were issued to the Presidential search committee prior to the appointment.

The protest has been escalating since Spring 2006, and last Monday (16 October) 138 of the 168 faculty members present voted for a call for her resignation. The degree of protest, which has now lasted over 6 months, is unprecedented, spanning a wide range of people, both hearing and Deaf, and distinguished individuals and organisations right across the world.

As an indication of the scale of the protest 50 'tent cities' have been established worldwide to show support for the protesters, and one is also to be set up in the UK.

By refusing to heed the scale of these protests, and seriously dividing a community, Jane K. Fernandes has indicated that holding onto power is more important than any damage incurred to the reputation of Deaf peoples worldwide.

Because Gallaudet University is the only Deaf university in the world, its influence, and thus its leadership issues reach far beyond its boundaries and take on international importance in representing the aspirations and the public image of Deaf communities worldwide. Therefore British people are also calling for "Unity for Gallaudet", for the resignation of Jane K. Fernandes and the selection of a President more respectful of the wishes of the people he or she is required to serve.

To this end letters will be delivered to the US Embassy to:

Robert Holmes Tuttle is U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, London
David T. Johnson, Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission, London
Hon. Lynn Woolsey, Member Board of Trustees, Gallaudet University
Hon. Ray LaHood, Member Board of Trustees, Gallaudet University
Hon. John McCain, Member Board of Trustees, Gallaudet University
Hon. Ted Stevens of Alaska, President Pro Tempore
Speaker of the House is J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois

A copy of our letter to Gallaudet's Board of Trustees, is enclosed here to give more background details; and we also provide a list of signatories, all of whom are respected Deaf leaders and people of the UK Deaf community.

Press enquiries please contact:
E mail: tentcityuk@gmail.com
SMS:
Tent City UK

Notes:
This contains a copy of the letter, in the entry below (both in English and BSL).

Letter to the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University from the UK




Dear Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University

The recent long drawn out events at Gallaudet University have aroused great concern all around the world, and are now beginning to have a negative impact on Deaf communities in other countries, including the UK.

Since Gallaudet University is the world's only Deaf university, the position of President does not just denote a leader of a single campus within the United States; that person is in fact an international leader within a global Deaf Community. Thus, the international reputation of Gallaudet is also implicated in the decisions which lead to the election of the President. Consequently we feel it is necessary to write to you immediately to explain in more detail why we are concerned.

As some of you will no doubt be aware, the Deaf community of the world is very differently organised than others. It is noted for having particularly close, rapid and in-depth contact between members right across the globe, as I. King Jordan may recall in respect of the international dimension to the campaign to have a Deaf president back in 1988.

Some of the signatories of this letter have thus maintained close contact with Gallaudet faculty, staff and students over the intervening 18 years, and have been concerned for a number of years at the continued promotion of Jane Fernandes within the wider campus, despite serious concerns in respect of her management style, character, and so on, which have been perceived as alienating many of the above.

In 2002 we were told by several members of the faculty that “Jane Fernandes will be the next President of Gallaudet - it has already been decided”. Of course, we are not privy to the decisions which led to Jane Fernandes' appointment, but the subsequent fulfilment of this assertion raises grave concerns about the credibility of the appointment.

There would also appear to be evidence that the presidential search was repeatedly warned by faculty, staff and students that appointing Jane Fernandes would be a major mistake. That is reflected in last Monday's overwhelming faculty vote. It should also be noted that the 82 % of the vote asking for her removal has increased since the equivalent meeting in the spring of 2006.

Her recent interview on National Public Radio clearly confirms that those warnings were justified. Her comments are remarkable in their attempts to deny responsibility (“the protest is not really about me”), which must immediately give concern about her leadership qualities. However, her suggestions that the protest is based around Gallaudet faculty and students’ fear of change, and that without her presence, for example, those with cochlear implants would not be welcomed into Gallaudet, are very serious charges to lay against her future employees and students, especially in a public forum in this manner. There seem to be only two readings of these stated beliefs. Either Fernandes believes them – in which case she is arguably deluded, and thus an inappropriate choice for President. Or she does not believe them and is engaging in political rhetoric – which seriously damages the institution she is supposed to serve.

It is therefore hardly unsurprising that the range of persons and organisations both within and without Gallaudet who have since called for Ms Fernandes resignation is almost unprecedented, and as you know includes many distinguished names who have paid long service to Gallaudet.

Taken together, these 3 factors suggest the presence of a degree of authoritarianism which is not in keeping with the cultural values of Deaf communities. We are reminded of a similar authoritarianism in 1988. However, as a result of the worldwide campaign which then followed, that board radically changed its attitudes once it realised that its decisions not only risked damaging the university itself, but Deaf people all around the world.

We have many concerns about I. K. Jordan's press statement, released on Monday 16 October. We will not comment in depth here, but we are concerned both about its tone (for example, in referring to the students as “a mob”), its content, and its 'spin'. The extent to which this statement focuses on issues of disruption is disingenuous, not least because the degree to which the disruption was created by administrative decisions seems in any case to be in some dispute.

The perception of the protestors as “intransigent” reads oddly in the light of the overwhelming faculty vote and the other evidence cited above. This intransigence can very easily be read as taking place on the other side of the fence.

Indeed the faculty vote sends a message to all academics around the world, and has reverberations far beyond Deaf domains. It tells them that, should the leader of their university be so unpopular as to arouse this unprecedented amount of opposition, that their own inside knowledge, expertise, and care for their community counts for nothing. The longer this Gallaudet situation continues, the more of those movers and shakers will come to hear about it, and form their own opinions.

Of course, in their own worlds, similar protests take place. This year alone there have been protests leading to resignations in 9 other USA universities, including Harvard. In the UK in August 2006, South Kent College suspended their Principal after 2/3rds of the faculty and staff expressed no confidence in him.

These are examples of avenues and actions which democratic societies are able to avail themselves of whenever a situation has been allowed to escalate to a point where “the letter of the law” has been found wanting. Moreover, civil disobedience and non violent direct action traditionally follows when people feel that a situation is serious enough to warrant it. Such actions are not entered into lightly, and expose those who do so to risk their physical and mental health.

These above approaches are the bedrock of civil rights movements all across the world for the past two centuries or more. People both in the United States and the United Kingdom are justly proud of that record, and (usually in hindsight) often come to see the participants who took such risks as heroic. There is no reason to think that Deaf communities should be excluded from such movements. Indeed, their involvement can be read as a sign of growing political maturity.

It should be noted that in most such examples, the responses of those in power bears an uncanny resemblance to those exhibited in I. K. Jordan's press statement. Indeed the authoritarianism we expressed concern about above is amply displayed throughout this statement, notably in its “refusal” of the demand for no reprisals. This has now culminated in the recent attempt to cancel the Homecoming weekend, possibly in order that the scale of the protest may continue to be hidden from the media.

Leadership of Deaf communities is at its best a stewardship, an honourable protector of the reputation of communities which experience daily oppression worldwide in innumerable ways. This oppression is often aided and abetted by the media, so that Deaf people's voices are rarely heard. This certainly appears to be true of the present situation, where media coverage has largely followed the administration's line, and printed and reprinted right around the world the slurs and red herrings it was fed, rather than present a balanced view. This representation of the situation thus risks causing even more damage to Deaf peoples worldwide.

There come times in history when the larger picture has to be seen as more important in the scheme of things. The welfare of these communities worldwide takes precedent over any single individual's desire to take power. A similar approach can be found in mainstream societies, where the adage “no politician is more important than their party” can lead to resignations when it is felt that remaining in post does more damage than their trying to cling on to power.

Almost all members of Deaf communities know that in their cultures it is unthinkable for a Deaf person to try to maintain their power against the wishes of many of its members. Unity is a cultural keyword, indeed a moral principle and imperative in our worlds. The extent to which Jane Fernandes seeks to hold onto power in the face of such widespread distress can be seen as indicative of her unwillingness to respect these centuries-old values. Indeed, it could be said that this attitude perfectly synchronises with, and thus confirms, the very fears listed at the start of this letter.

We ask all of you to try to put the wider needs and cultural values of Deaf communities above your own personal needs or desires, and bring an end as swiftly as possible to this daily humiliation of our peoples. There is also no doubt that you will gain far more respect from people if you were able to admit that you had misread the importance of your decisions, and were then able to show that you were 'big enough' to change your minds when faced with events of such historical magnitude.

Moreover, in so doing, you could become important role models for the 'hearing world', able to show the world the positive aspects of Deaf communities. Then, not only would you go a significant way towards repairing the damage that has been caused, but who knows - you might even set an example which turns all this negativity into a positive triumph for Deaf communities!

cc. Dr Jane K. Fernandes; Dr I. King Jordan

Signed by

Matthew Adedeji
Doug Alker, Chair, British Deaf Association
Kriskin Allum, School of Fashion and Textile Design, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London
Robin Ash, Senior Deaf Educational Instructor
Rachell Bastikar, Vice-Chair, British Deaf Association, Gallaudet Alumni
Dr Sarah Batterbury
Howard Beck
Alison Bryan
Emma Coleman
Clark Denmark, Centre for Deaf Studies, University of Bristol and a Gallaudet alumni
Anne Devine
Susan Devine
Siobhan Dodd
Jen Dodds, Translator/Writer/ Postgraduate Student
Claire Dowdican, Youth Development Officer, Deafway
Bob Duncan, Writer, Producer, Director
Frances Elton, University College London
Steve Emery, Research Associate, Heriot-Watt University
Paula Garfield, Deaf TV actress
Claire Haddon
Rachael Hayes
Len Hodson
Sharvedh Kanaye (Gallaudet Alumni – Class of 2002)
Dr. Paddy Ladd, Powrie V Doctor Chair of Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University 1992-3
Tomato Lichy, Deaf Artist & Film Maker
Gavin Lilley, Project Officer & Lecturer, University of Central Lancashire
Richard Magill
Desmond Masterson
Niall McCormack, Artist
Ailsa McGilp, Art Psychotherapist (Art Therapist)
Helga McGilp
James McLean
Judith Mole, Direct Learn
Tony Nicholas
Nicola Nunn
Gary Quinn, Project Officer, Heriot-Watt University
Katie Rogers, Research Assistant, University of Manchester
Sister Marika Rebicsek, Lecturer in Deaf Studies, Redbridge College (signing in a personal capacity)
Mary-Jayne Russell de Clifford, Drama Workshop Leader, Stage Manager
Janice Silo
Andrea Simpson, Andrea's School of BSL
Colin Singh
June Smith, BSL Lecturer
Dr Sharon Ridgeway-Traynor
Kibra Taye, London
Neil Tiffin, Qualified & Registered Electrician/Wiring, London
Noel Traynor, Chief Executive, Manchester Deaf Centre
Sarah Tupling, Secretary, Derby Deaf Forum
Lesley Walmsley, Andrea's School of BSL
Rob Wilks, Trainee Solicitor
Karen Wikhom
Howard Woolfe
Linda Woolfe
Ramon Woolfe, Director
Dr. Tyron Woolfe, Post Doctoral Researcher, Univeristy College London

All signatures either in a personal or professional capacity.

October 17, 2006

I'm in the UK, why should Gallaudet affect me?

Several questions have been raised about the Gallaudet protests and why it should have any implication on you sitting in the UK. If we were go down that strand of thought, then the Middle East Crisis does not affect the world. We can safely ignore the human rights crisis in North Korea. We all know what happens in the Middle East, does have an impact on all of us and our future.

Within the UK we do not exist within a bubble, this is more evident being in a Deaf community, a community that transcends all borders. If international events took no importance, why do people, and perhaps you, attend international events such as WFD, Deafway, even Deaflympics?

One of the central arguments around this protest is around the lack of listening TO DEAF PEOPLE, and showing evidence of this by action speaks louder than words. This frequently happens in the UK too, as Deaf people, decisions are made without us and there is a distinct lack of consultation. To quote the words of the 1988 DPN Leaders in their current Manifesto, "[For] Thousands of years, we have been objectified, oppressed, discriminated against, trivialized, patronized, and dismissed."

Something we have all experienced, and it hits harder when it is closer to home, "The last place we expected prudential and stereotypical attitudes towards the Deaf community to prevent equity and justice would be at our own Gallaudet University."

Substitute the words Gallaudet University with a UK deaf organisation, and you will start to get what this protest is about at this stage.

Just to focus a bit on recent UK Deaf history, there has been a lack of interest in campaigning and many key activists cite the reason for this as down to lack of communication, cooperation and actually listening to us. Subsequently, we are faced with widespread apathy. The same key issues around communication, and listening bottom up exists within the UK.

To reverse this trend there needs to be fightback, and a reclaiming of the right to be listened to, which subsequently gives people the energy to actually fight the next battle.

Since the 1988 Deaf President Now protest, we have used this fight to give us confidence *here in the UK* to get on with campaigning for our own local issues. Again when the 2006 protest is over, we will look back as a defining point in our history (how many of you will actually quote it, as you did for the 1988 protest?), and as a turning point as far as change goes. To actually use this protest as a springboard, by showing support, can give us strength to go on to campaign about other things.

If you have ever quoted, or referred to the Deaf President Now protest in the past, in the context of campaigning, then events at Gallaudet affects YOU. You have already shown international events do affect you! The question is, if you are actually prepared to acknowledge this, and show your support?

Meeting Tuesday (17/10): Re Protest outside US Embassy

Londoners and not-so-far Londoners...

Let's gather at O'Grady's pub tonight (Tuesday 17 October 2006) at 8pm or earlier you prefer. We can discuss the protest outside US embassy possibly this Thursday. I will be there myself tonight. We have to move fast and we can't waste time.

The propose of staging a demonstration is to show our solidary for 133 arrested protesters and hand a letter to US embassy so our solidary would be acknowledged.

It is important to take action as soon as possible. The mis-appointment of the Galluadet's 9th President could possibly dim the beacon of light Galluadet, with struggle, carried and passed the torch on to generations to enable us to get through the dark times since the Milan 1880.

O'Grady's pub
Victoria Palace
Victoria Station
London SW1

Many Deaf people socialise at O'Grady's every first Friday.

Nialé

Tent City in Grosvenor Square, London?

There is current rumblings about a protest outside the US Embassy in support of the Gallaudet protest. Should a tent city be built in Grosvenor Square?

The art of listening

If Fernandes fails to listen to this, she clearly does not have a brain. The figures speak for themselves.

October 16, 2006

How not to Listen

jane.gif

The above cartoon is taken from Moeart, clearly brilliant, and it sums up the whole thing that is happening at Gallaudet. I would recommend you go over to the Maureen Klusza's blog.

Friday 13 October 2006, has already been labelled as Black Friday, with 133 arrests on campus authorised by Jordan. A move that immediately shot himself in the foot, and the case of digging one's grave.

Washington DC police stated this is the largest number of arrests made since the 1960s. In an age where terrorism abounds, several marches that happen in DC in one day, it is hard to believe that we've somehow broken a 40+ year old record. A situation that has been described as out of control.

The Not Deaf Enough stance is being cited by Fernades as the reason for people wanting her to go, and her cries around this apart from being misleading actually invites longer term damage, see this blog post. The media is picking up on this, perhaps as its the simplest explanation they can latch on. My question, if the cultural stance was so critical, how has Jordan as a deafened man, been tolerated all these years? To move on, the argument is seriously detracting and highlights the inability to take a long hard look at oneself plus your skills (or lack of). Mass opposition has been related to interpersonal skills.

Whatever the arguments, this woman can no longer lead. To be a leader, you have to have respect of the people you are leading, without that you will fail, and a group will disintegrate. Its a basic concept, something you can pick up on an outward bound team building course, without the need for a MBA in Management. Yet, this basic concept has not penetrated. Not only do we have students who won't accept her, the international community suddenly has lost respect for Gallaudet and more specifically its Board of Trustees.

In politics, we frequently hear the phrase, noone is bigger than their party, and in this case, a single person should be be bigger than the university in their quest for leadership. If this was politics, unless your name was Blair or even Prescott, you would have gone by now. Instead months later, we have a strained process, which is becoming more painful to watch.

Something unprecedented is happening, we have President of NAD, mental health professionals, the former principal of Model School for the Deaf, education staff, a Roman Catholic Priest, a lawyer / professor, the 1988 student leaders, plus many more, all calling for JKF's resignation. Take a step back here, when do you see this happening? Never. Yet it is, and I sit here wondering how much banging on a drum needs to happen, or indeed how many tent cities will be erected before a stubborn mule will listen?

May 12, 2006

Buy this book...

deafhood.jpg

... especially if you a) disagree with the Gallaudet demo or b) don't understand why they are protesting.

You can buy it online here or here. Go on, it's excellent stuff.

May 11, 2006

Gallaudet Protest videos

Gallaudet protest reaches all corners of the States.

Gallaudet Protest on NBC News.

Makes you wonder why we can't get similar media coverage in the UK.