We Demand Jobs and Education, Not War and Occupation

We Demand Jobs and Education, Not War and Occupation

Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey stand in solidarity with the students, youth and workers who are speaking out and standing up today against the systemic attacks on public education. It is high time for the rest of the society to take a stand against the systemic attack on the people’s needs in favor of the interests of the few and create a society wherein the people’s needs are prioritized above all.

State’s all-out attack on Education

Both state governments, from New Jersey’s Gov. Christie to New York’s Gov. Paterson, are all out in their attacks on social services, particularly, on the education sector.

In New Jersey, the operating budgets of the nine state colleges and universities have been cut five times and they now receive about the same amount of dollars they received 10 years ago. Despite the overwhelming number of student enrollment in 2008-2009, the current state government has even announced a freeze on state spending, signaling more lay-offs, more furlough days and tuition fee increases for the public sector.

In New York, over 19 public schools from K-12 are going to be shut down and a round of new tuition fee increases in the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY) are being hashed out. In the Fall of 2009, due to a budget cuts and a huge budget deficit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that they’ll stop giving out student metro cards that’ll be another burden passed on working class students.

Budget cuts are an assault against working-class and immigrant communities

We are outraged that the burden of the so-called budget crisis that this country is experiencing is being put on the backs of immigrants and working class people while the government shelled out roughly $1.5 Trillion dollars for the endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $700 Billion to bail out banks and financial institutions, which in the first place are responsible for the current crisis; the crisis of the capitalist system.

With the education out of reach to most immigrant and working-class youth and students, this leaves them no choice but to join the army as their only way to get education, who, by the way, is the only sector that did not experience any cuts on budget allocations. This is no different than a military draft but solely for the immigrant and working-class youth, forcing them to fight the unjust wars of the rich.

With 4 million Filipinos in the United States, 51% of which belong to the youth sector, it is inevitable that our youth will be one of the worst hit by this crisis.

International struggle for right to education

All around the world, students and workers are decrying state abandonment of education. In Germany, Austria and Scandanavian countries and movements throughout the Asia Pacific especially Indonesia, India and Korea, students are demanding access to quality education. In the Philippines, students are calling out the myth of “liberal education” rooted in American direct colonialism up to the current Arroyo regime, as an ensuing and escalating crisis in education that is colonial, commercialized and fascist in nature.

We join the youth and students from New York to New Jersey and all over the US on this national day of action in demanding full funding for public education and not for imperialist wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and in other countless military bases in Israel, South Korea and the Philippines.

From the U.S. to the Philippines and all around the world, we have no option but to join in solidarity to defend our education and demand an end to imperialist attacks on our youth, our workers, our families!

We demand a fully funded and quality education system.

We demand good quality jobs for workers and teachers.

We demand to put priority in youth and students and not in big banks, prison and War.