Mayor Bloomberg announced Friday that he intends to eliminate 4,100 teaching jobs through layoffs and another 2,000 through attrition.
In response, a broad coalition of students, unions and activist groups have planned a May 12 march on Wall Street to demand the big banks and millionaires start paying their fair share during these times of economic crisis.
“There is no revenue crisis; there is an inequality crisis,” On May 12’s organizers said in a written statement. “The Big Banks that crashed our economy, destroyed jobs, caused millions to lose their homes, and bankrupted city and state budgets, are reaping record profits—and yet they are refusing to pay their fair share of what it will take to rebuild our economy. From Wisconsin to Wall Street people are fighting back!“
The event website features videos from participants who explain why they’ll be taking part in the march.
Organizers are planning for thousands of working people, students, seniors, people on public assistance, and community activists to descend upon Wall Street this Thursday. Participants include SEIU workers, the United Federation of Teachers, the Communication Workers of America, ACT UP, Code Pink, Greater NYC for Change, Urban Youth Collaborative, the Working Families Party, and many more. (A full list of the parties involved can be found at the event’s official website).
The city’s billionaire mayor attempted to soothe constituents’ nerves when he announced the mass firings. “I understand the frustration that parents and teachers feel; I feel it too,” he said.
His statement didn’t impress students, parents, and teachers from Francis Lewis High School, who joined forces with some local politicians to protest the potential layoffs. Protesters held signs that read, “You say cut back, we say fight back!” and “Remove snow, not teachers!”
Bloomberg is also taking heat for his proposal to close 20 fire engine companies and slash library funds by 29 percent, a move that critics claim will force branches to open only three days a week.