Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 4th Statewide Strike

While many ask about why college students waste time to do something as pointless as marching and protesting, I will ask the question: "Do you know why we are protesting?"

If anyone has witnessed or have learned about the movements of the 1960s, they would understand that these movements laid the foundation for what we are trying to do presently--to go against injustice.

When we feel something has been unjustly committed, we protest. That's happened for the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, worker lay-offs, and we students have something we feel strongly against. Many of our opposer's say that we're doing unnecessary actions and that we have to take the burden of the states' budget cuts just like everyone else. Who isn't to say that we aren't taking the burden? But exactly who does the burden fall upon? Certainly it hits students hard but at the same time, our parents, grandparents and guardians might be greatly affected from these increased fees and budget cuts. They're forced with taking pink slips, furlough days, and now on top of a job crisis, their children's public education is kicked up to a percentage higher than any other state.

Higher education is just out of the question nowadays for many low-income families. With the costs of college going up, and the possibilities of lay-offs for many parents, a four year debt-inducing degree doesn't seem quite wise. It's no surprise that California is ranked 49 out of 51 in education in comparison to all the other states while we invest the most in our prison systems. Majority of those in prison are in it for either theft or drug possession. Why is it that the state spends on average $47,000 on prisoners every year and yet only $8,000 on students?

Those who can afford these increased fees, that's great. But for those whose families' are starting to feel the pinch, perhaps you can be persuaded to come join us. This is a battle for the future of public education. Our tax money goes more to incarcerating our youths than teaching them how to stay on track.

We have legitimate reasons to protest. We do not try to impede others from their education either. We're trying to voice our concern to a state that has long neglected its students. Letters and phone calls are just not enough anymore.

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