A rally of mostly NYC students near City Hall in NYC focused on the forced closing of schools as part of the drive to privatize by short-changing these schools of resources. Over 20 people blocked Chambers Street near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge and were arrested. Students began a march to the precinct but on the way they were told the police to avoid the march were taking the arrested to another precinct. The event was organized by the Coalition for Educational Justice, consisting of community based organizations.
We have heard for weeks that this rally called by CEJ (Coalition for Educational Justice) would ramp up the protests into civil disobedience. Originally scheduled for last Weds, the day before the Stop School Closing Rally but postponed by the snow it was held on Monday, Jan. 31.
Why two rallies? Complex, but the simple answer is two different messages and approaches between GEM and CEJ but we are communicating and supporting some efforts. We are mostly teachers and they are mostly parents and students and one day soon the train shall meet.
Joel Klein called the misnamed "achievement gap" the "civil rights issue of our time." His and the other ed deformer strategy of forcing the closure of many inner city schools to make way for favored privately controlled charters is the real civil rights issue of the time, as this video shows with students and parents declaring that their schools have been purposely set up for failure so justification can be found to shut them down and turn the valuable real estate their buildings represent over to charters.
Here is 14 minutes of edited video I shot: the rally, excerpts from speakers, the push into Chambers St., the arrests and the follow-up march to the police station. Fabulous stuff from a great bunch of students who did us all proud.
Here is Lindsey Christ's story on (NY1)
Also check out this amazingly supportive piece from Gabe:
Gabe Pressman Supports Teacher Experience