Workers, students rally against budget cuts

The alarming prospect of deep budget and service cutbacks, layoffs and the closing of hospitals and other workplaces brought tens of thousands of workers into the streets near New York’s City Hall March 5 for a monster “Rally for New York.” The gigantic outpouring of throngs of union and community protesters lasted for hours and stretched for blocks and blocks in lower Manhattan.

CUNY students at New York rally.
CUNY students at New York rally.
WW photo: John Catalinotto

Simultaneous protests in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and other cities in New York state also drew large worker-community crowds demanding, “No cuts! No cuts! No cuts!”

The New York City rally was called by the One New York coalition to protest proposals by the state government to unload a $15 billion budget deficit on the backs of workers and their communities by drastically cutting health care, education and other vital services, jobs and pensions. They were also protesting city government plans for similar cutbacks.

The coalition includes the NYC Central Labor Council, the New York State AFL-CIO, unions representing teachers and educators, city and state employees, building service, health care and other workers, and more than 100 community groups and non-profit social service providers.

The demands at the NYC protest were moderate: a tax on millionaires, no service cuts at a time of need, don’t make workers pay for Wall Street’s economic crisis, and hands off our schools, childcare, health care and jobs. But the outpouring of workers in this city and statewide who are ready to fight back—the protest here was infused with the energy of young workers and students, especially women and workers of color—seemed to surpass even the organizers’ expectations and bodes well for future struggles.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Business College (in Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester), Elmira Business Institute, Erie Workers, students rally against budget cuts – fistyouth.wordpress.com 03/16/2009 By Mary Owen The alarming prospect of deep budget and service […]


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