That's probably the only word I can use to describe last week's protest: Massive.
Students, teachers, parents and administrators lined Broadway right next door to City Hall and the DOE, temporarily creating a new branch of our education system, one that was based on the needs and concerns of the real constituents of our community instead of the impractical ideas of the Klein-Bloomberg complex.
We called for a restoration of the city's education budget, with signs reading, "Don't Cut the Future Out of Your Budget!", "Budget Cuts are Nuts," and "It's our Budget, Don't Fudge it!"
We called for a refocusing of our educational priorities: a shift from tests and worksheets, consultants and computer systems to project-based learning and a rebuilding of the relationships between teachers and students around our city.
Most of all, we called for respect.
We brought out the numbers, guys! Take heed!
In my time as a student activist, I have never seen so many students up in arms, taking to the streets. The NYC Student Union alone brought out over 500 students, thanks to the online organizing of freshman Rebecca Morofsky of Brooklyn (special shout out to her for a great job).
Students realize the direct impact these cuts are making on our schools and on our lives. We feel the powerful disrespect when the government fails to recognize that the future is at stake here. We have spoken.
Cross-posted at NYC Students Blog