Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today's Education Rally At The State Capitol

Earlier today, thousands of Arizona's students and supporters of education rallied at the Wesley Bolin Plaza next to the State Capitol.

Starting with chants like "1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - we can't take these cuts no more...5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - save our schools, save our state!", "Don't hate, educate!" and more, the rally also featured the student body presidents from the state's universities and a number of education-friendly legislators (like D17's own State Sen. Meg Burton-Cahill and State Reps. Ed Ableser and David Schapira), including a few of the more responsible Republicans, today's rally was a call to action.

If you want to help fight for Arizona's future, surf over to Arizonans Taking Action and sign up for their grassroots organization.

My favorite sign, and unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of it as the holder of the sign was gone into the crowd before I could bring my camera to bear -

"ANOZIRA is backwards on education"

Contact your legislators and let them know that busting the budget by giving tax cuts to their wealthy friends and then balancing by destroying Arizona's future won't be accepted.

The crowd...

Marching on the Capitol...

The powerful voice of Students United...
Anyway, the rally seemed to go off without a hitch. Even though the area was packed with thousands of students and dozens of heavily armed and armored cops from the Capitol Police, DPS, City of Phoenix and MCSO, no arrests were reported as of the time the rally broke up (at least the police officers I spoke to hadn't heard of any).
A number of legislators and staffers did the whole "rubbernecking" thing and watched the protesters as they walked through the courtyard between the House and Senate buildings. Some stepped outside into the sun to observe; some remained safely ensconced in the 2nd floor lounge while looking out the windows.
Wherever they were, I hope they were all listening.
Anyway2, ASU State Press coverage here; AZ Republic coverage here.


Thane Eichenauer said...

This sounds like more of "balance the budget but don't cut mine". It is a large clamor but doesn't suggest any way to balance the state government budget then before the students ever arrived.

Thomas More said...

RandomMusings is blogging about the student protests at the legislature and writes:

My favorite sign, and unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of it as the holder of the sign was gone into the crowd before I could bring my camera to bear -

"ANOZIRA is backwards on education"

I got a real kick out of that given the revelation the students got class credit to show up. Backwards, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am happy to learn that some students received credit for attending the rally. The students' teachers and professors are to be commended for encouraging their students to be active participants in our democratic form of government. What a powerful learning experience for the students!

Anonymous said...

It was suggested a number of times to our legislature that they increase the sales tax by one cent. This would generate revenue for the state without cutting nearly 1 billion dollars from education. Unfortunately, our leaders in legislature are narrow minded and cannot see beyond one option, although they will talk circles around you on how they are. I say, raise my taxes by one cent, I can afford that. Cut education by 1 billion? Our children cannot afford that, nor can our state. We need to remember, if the legislature passes this, it won't be just education hurt, but 1/3 of the state's word force will be out of jobs. Our children won't be educated and our parents will be forced to spend more in daycare, and our jobs will be lost.

So have we suggested ways to balance the budget? Yes, but the suggestions are falling on deaf ears.

Alex said...

We spend less per pupil than any other state (including Guam and Puerto Rico), and now we're going to cut further. Arizona's kids are already racing toward becoming the very least desirable job candidates in the developed world. What business would want to set up shop (or remain) in a market like that?!