March 22, 2011
UUP president addresses public ed rally
Holding up a sign bearing UUP’s slogan, “Think ahead. Invest in Higher Ed,” UUP President Phil Smith addresses a mass rally at the Capitol in Albany attended by more than 1,000. Smith prompted the boisterous cheers of the demonstrators when he said, “Education is a right.”
Smith was among more than a dozen speakers to address “A Rally for Public Ed,” which attracted members from UUP, NYSUT, the Professional Staff Congress representing CUNY faculty, PEF and CSEA. Students, lawmakers and other groups also took the podium to push for the restoration of cuts to public education contained in the proposed state budget.
The enthusiastic crowd blew whistles and chanted such phrases as “They say cut back, we say fight back,” and “This is what democracy looks like.” They cheered speaker after speaker who called for the retention of the millionaire’s tax so they pay their fair share to support public education.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta closed the rally with a strong call to action.
“We are not finished. We have just begun to fight.” he said.
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