Over a Thousand March
By John Tarleton
Cries of “tax the rich” filled the narrow streets of the Financial District late Thursday afternoon as a coalition of student, labor and community groups marched from City Hall to Wall Street. Dozens of PSC members and CUNY students were among the crowd of more than 1,400 protesters who called for higher taxes on the rich and an end to budget cuts that harm ordinary people.
“The voices of the people have been marginalized. Things can’t continue to go on the way they have,” said Steve Rothman, a second-year graduate student at the Hunter School of Social Work.
CUNY senior colleges currently face cuts in State funding of $95.1 million under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget while CUNY community colleges would lose $17.5 million in support. Cuomo and his allies in the Republican-controlled State Senate also favor ending a modest tax surcharge on the State’s highest income earners.
“The millionaire’s tax will bring back the revenue we need so working class students can go to school.,” said Steve Burghardt, a professor at the Hunter School of Social Work.
“It’s going to be a horror show unless these cuts are rescinded,” said BMCC Chapter Chair Joyce Moorman. “Hopefully this will have some effect.”
A contingent of Hostos students marched together while playing homemade drums made of empty water coolers. Lina Cruz, a member of the Hostos student government, said further cuts would undermine efforts to win longer hours for the school’s library which currently closes at 8 pm even though many Hostos students work during the day.
“If we don’t have the resources, how are we going to make sure students succeed?” Cruz asked.