Norma J. F. Harrison. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

Name: Norma J. F. Harrison, 83

Job: Realtor, activist-volunteer

Why are you running for School Board?

Candidates and officials getting up to say over and over that they will better the school system are lying to themselves and us all — because that’s their only choice.  I have chosen to say what school actually is about — shuffling us through like cattle for use as the tools of our own persecution. That we might gain an insight here and there while sitting in “free compulsory education” classrooms is almost accidental.  I want that study to be constant and wide open for us all the time, so we can surmount our persecution — and our persecution of life on Earth.

Why are you qualified for the position?

My altruism has flourished for 73 years, and still does. I have studied the cause/s of the horrification of us by us for all this time. I always work with forces allied to oppose the system that uses and abuses our labor and Earth. I can’t see into the future; I can work to make it kind.

BUSD is headed toward painful budget cuts, for the second year in a row. How would you get the district in a better financial position?

Putting more money into a system — school — which results in continuing and increasing our confinement into the profiteering system cannot help. The system will continue to promote the madness that demands we be out on the streets protesting and trying to build our understanding and our unity.

There are persistent, significant academic disparities along racial lines in BUSD. How would you work to close the achievement/opportunity gap?

It can’t be “closed” in the capitalist system. The last 70 years of “civil rights” struggles are just an exclamation mark, proof that that structure will persist — that structure that undergirds the profit system.

This election follows recent violence and tragedies on school campuses, and the growth of a national movement to prevent those incidents. How would you make Berkeley schools safer?

Read the daily news; see the chaotic horrors committed by individuals on other individuals. See the murders by “accidents” by driving vehicles. See the illness manifest throughout the country, the world, the tortuous murdering and abuse of individual people — and other animal — and plant — life. These demonstrate the maddened state of us oppressed slaves of the profit system.
Our resistance is the orderly response to the horror.

What are your two other top priorities?

My main purpose is to work with communities to create the tone that will allow us to recognize the role of capitalism’s institutions so we can deal in unity with them, so we can come out of our subjugation to them, both our physical and our mental bondage.

Then our work is to describe with us all/each other how we are to live and to see to what extent we are able to get away with supplanting the present structures with some that make sense, that feel good.
Most of the efforts will be prohibited by law, or by convention, or by lack of funds to do them; the usual reaction that eventually leads us to physical confrontation, eventually, actual revolution.

Those of you who command non-violence have so far refused to admit we are in a fighting war, regardless the States’ constant attacks on us; particularly noting its continuous murder of Black men – and horrors committed on people around the world.

The State will not become nice just because we ask it to. If it were nice it would be socialist communist.

What is your most inspired/unusual idea for Berkeley Unified?

I moved here so my child could go to school in a place known for rising against the system.  Repressed, she sat out most of classroom attendance. This, of course, was one major impetus of disclosure to me of what school is about, an issue I’d been questioning since I was 9. I’ve done several activities, had employment at thinking to make school attractive and reasonable. I haven’t succeeded, another disclosure of what the problem is. It’s not MEANT to be those; kind slavery is not nice.

How will you be accessible to constituents?

I campaign for this position throughout the years between elections. At elections I have gotten approximately 1/6 of the vote. I figure we’re making sense in the community, little by little. People need affirmation that their effort to decolonize could become increasingly popular. School is capitalism’s tool, not ours. We belong doing our jobs and study and relaxation, recreation, our activities age-integrated.

How much money do you expect to spend on your campaign? $30

Find Norma J. F. Harrison online: Website

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