The Crescent Report

March 5, 2010

Massive National Student Protests Say “No” to Education Budget Cuts

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 4:39 pm

As the American government continues spending billions of dollars dropping smart bombs on dumb missions, our American educational system is crumbling. Our public schools are being dismantled, cost of college education is astronomical, and students find themselves saddled with the burden of unmanageable debt after graduation.  The young people of America get it, check out the article below and join us on March 20th for the ‘March on Washington’.

Quote of the day: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”

Join the ‘March on Washington’ on March 20th

WASHINGTON, DC (MASNET) Mar. 05, 2010 – In one of the largest coordinated national protests in years, thousands of students, faculty members, and activists from California to Maryland staged a day of massive nonviolent actions to voice their opposition budget cuts in public education across the nation.

The March 4th National Day of Action for Public Education generated major protest activities on dozens of college and university campuses across America, witnessing a level of activism reminiscent of the protests against the 2003 U.S. military invasion of Iraq and the anti-Vietnam war mobilizations of the 1960’s.

Protesters made use of a number of tactics in the national day of action. In Oakland, California, and at the University of California – Davis, for example, hundreds of students at each location successfully blocked highway traffic flow for hours. At universities in Wisconsin and Texas, students, faculty members, and allies staged sit-ins at the offices of college administrators to protest cutbacks in state funding for higher education, along with plans for steep tuition increases.

Many of the protesters also expressed concern that the budget cutbacks, along with rising college costs, will have a devastating impact in the enrollment of students from low-income families and young people of color. These realities also coincide, on some campuses like the University of California in San Diego and the University of California-Irvine, with politically conservative “push back” on students from racial or religious minority groups.

On the Irvine campus, eleven Muslim students who protested a speech given by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States were removes from an auditorium and are now subject to possible disciplinary action from the university. At the University of California-San Diego, a student group hosted an off-campus event characterized by the open display of clothing and behavior intended to mock and disparage African-Americans.

MAS Freedom believes that these protests are related to the current direction of the national budget priorities and the diversion of resources from education and human needs to maintaining a war system and combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Students know that national budget priorities are negatively impacting the availability of resources for health care and education in 2010, just as the budget for the war in Vietnam disrupted plans for the “Great Society” in the 1960’s”, said Ibrahim Ramey of MAS Freedom’s Human and Civil Rights program. “When young people in America organize and stand up for a new social vision as they did on March 4th, a major shift in our economic and human service priorities is coming.

“We need money for jobs, housing, health care, and education – not for more bombs dropped on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq”, he concluded.

MAS Freedom will join the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and a host of local and national organizations in a massive demonstration in Washington, D.C. on March 20th, 2010, to protest the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the massive diversion of national resources from pressing human needs in the United States. For information about the demonstration, and to find out how you can join and support it, please call MAS Freedom at (703) 642-6165.

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MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America – with 55 chapters in 35 states.

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