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Workers, students fight cuts

Published Mar 7, 2012 10:05 PM
WW photo: Joseph Piette

On March 1, hundreds of students from Philadelphia area colleges, including Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, rallied and marched to protest massive state cuts to education.

Speakers raised issues including discrimination in hiring for construction on the Temple University campus and the need for solidarity among the surging student movements around the planet.

The demonstration drew in participants off the street, including high school students. Public universities like Temple face the prospect of upwards of a 50 percent reduction in state aid under Gov. Tom Corbett, who has called for outright privatization of state schools.

After a spirited rally outside Corbett’s Center City office, demonstrators marched to a concluding rally on the steps of the school district headquarters, where they joined Philadelphia school nurses laid off from their jobs in December 2011. Since then, the nurses and supporters from Occupy Philadelphia have demonstrated every Wednesday outside the school district building under a campaign called Occupy 440.

Earlier in the day, American Federation of Teachers Local 2026, representing faculty and staff at the Community College of Philadelphia, staged a rally for a fair contract on their campus that included students, staff, faculty, and other union and community supporters.