From NYC Indymedia
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
New Yorkers are upset, and they should be. In a push to balance the state budget, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a tentative $132.5 billion state budget deal on Sunday. The pact would mean $10 billion in cuts to the state budget, with jobs and education on the chopping block. New York City is amongst the cities that will be hardest hit.
"The final budget still cuts New York City education aid more than ever before," responded NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He also expressed concerns over drastic cuts in funding for city senior centers and homelessness programs.
The deal, which could go into effect by the end of the week, could mean the layoff of 9,800 state employees, and hundreds of workers in the state court system.
But New Yorkers are not taking the news lying down. Inspired by Wisconsin, more than a dozen groups, including several unions, are organizing the first mass "camp-in" at the state Capitol for Wednesday, March 30, in Albany. A thousand people are expected to turnout from around the state.
Last Friday, March 25, teachers, parents and students in northern Manhattan took to the streets to vent their opposition to the impending cuts. Dozens of teachers, many dressed in black, mourned the symbolic “death of the future of New York City public school students” if the budget is passed.
“We are protesting the budget cuts and the treatment of teachers in the Department of Education,” Mr. M. Bush, a teacher at M.S. 326 in Washington Heights, told the Manhattan Times. “I think we’d all like to see more concern for the students and our schools, which need more programs and extracurricular activities, music, arts, and athletics.”
The day before, thousands of workers, students, teachers and activists from dozens of New York organizations took to the streets of lower Manhattan in a "day of rage against the [budget] cuts".
With chants of “Tax Wall Street” and "When they say cut back, we say fight back", they marched from City Hall to Wall Street.
"Working class students can no longer shoulder the brunt of a budget deficit that we didn't create," Sarah Anees, a graduate student at the City University of New York (CUNY) told IPS. "We didn't start this crisis – Wall Street did."
Video from the March 24 Wall Street march