Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Student strike in Pennsylvania

While student strikes may be somewhat common in other places, they are truly exceptional in the USA. However On May 9th and then again the 17th, Pennsylvania high school students walked out massively to protest cuts on education.

On May 17th thousands of high school students from various schools across the city walked out of their classes and took the streets of Philadelphia. This walk-out was organized by the students themselves in direct opposition to impending budget cuts which will close dozens of schools, lay off thousands of teachers and school employees, cut funding for school libraries, sports, after- school programs, summer school, counselling services, and other services that students rely on. Unlike the first walk-out which took place on May 9th, this walk-out occurred during school hours and without permission from school administrations. West Philly High locked its doors so that students couldn’t leave, but the students figured out how to get out of the school anyway. Some students even organized sit-down occupations of the schools. It is clear that the students are becoming more willing to break the rules and that this is scaring the school administrations. At the same time, the students have a very long way to go if they want to stop the budget cuts and take control of their lives–sending petitions and letters to Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbet wont do this. Below is a flyer that members of FNT distributed to hundreds of students during the walk-outs to encourage them to consider a revolutionary strategy.

Congratulations to the Students Who Walked Out of School Today!!!
The students who walked out of classes today have the power to change the future of Philadelphia. Today they defied a system that sees them as nothing but disposable. The city and state government are closing schools, cutting funding, but they have money for a Youth Jail at 48th and Haverford and $200 million has been set aside for a new Police Roundhouse at 46th and Market. They are replacing schools and libraries with more prisons and police! They are throwing a whole generation into the trash!
The question is: Are you going to let them get away with this? Sending letters and emails to the mayor and the governor wont change this situation. We will still be trapped in poor neighborhoods and in bullshit schools, stuck with no jobs or bullshit jobs, and constantly threatened by the police. Crews will continue fighting each other over petty beef. You have our full support, but it is going to take much more than voting and signing petitions to change this situation. We need to build a united revolutionary movement against the forces that keep us all down: the government, the police, the rich. Will you work with us to build this movement?

There will be a Meeting in the center of Malcolm X Park on Saturday May 25th at 5pm
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