Protest at City Hall
By Hasret Yuksel
I live with my mother and three other siblings. It really is tough to survive. In my household my mother, my younger sister and I need to work to be in a somewhat good shape. My mother drives a yellow cab seven days a week, without any days off. My sister is a full-time college student and is also employed full time; I study Hospitality Management at City Tech and work part-time as a bartender. If one of us is out of a job, the scale becomes off balance.
Husret marching along Chambers Street.
Today, on May 5, 2011 I joined professors and students from City Tech and other CUNY colleges and marched to City Hall to protest our budget cuts. We voiced our rights not to have our tuition increased, not to tax the working class. With today’s economy the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. I agree that it is just getting worse and worse for the working class.
Today’s experience was different for me because I had never taken part in a protest before. I am glad I had the time and opportunity to take part in an important event and hope there will be an effect. As we entered City Hall, we formed a circle and walked around holding protest signs and chanting:
Whose streets are these?
Whose city is this?
Whose CUNY is this?
I was yelling so much I hoped I wouldn’t lose my voice. We heard many speakers make their points, such as Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the City Council Committee on Higher Education, and a student speaker from Hunter College. With the press being there, I hope the government will hear our voice and consider it.
A protest with dancing!
We resumed our march to BMCC and continued with the speeches out there. Although this was a serious protest, there was a lovely jazz band playing some music, which was fun, and protesters had a little dance or two on the floor. I must say, there were interesting elder people who were dancing lovely. Even the entertainment showed our unity and that we’re not going to give up fighting.
I do not know how it ended because I had to leave to return to class. I sure am looking forward to yelling more for our rights.