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News and reports

February 8, 2002 | Page 10

Money for schools

By Sheila Bitts

SACRAMENTO--On January 29, teachers, students, parents and union activists rallied to defend education funding.

Protesters rallied against proposed cuts in education spending and put politicians on alert that California kids deserve essential supplies and proper building facilities, and that teachers deserve decent wages.

California has been in a recession since spring of 2001 due to low exports, a decline in manufacturing and the dot-com bust. As of November, Gov. Gray Davis had proposed a $5.2 billion spending reduction.

The need for more money to be allocated toward education is painfully clear. As teacher Matt Behnke told Socialist Worker, "I would be excited just to have enough dry-erase markers!"

Our teachers and our kids deserve better than this!

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

By Brooke Weney and Sheila Bitts

ON JANUARY 21, communities across the country celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In Seattle, highlights included a teach-in on global and community issues and a rally. A speaker from the Muslim American Society told how he had to explain to his wife that he may disappear one day, like many others in the Arab community who have been detained. After the rally, approximately 1,500 people marched to downtown Seattle.

In San Francisco, approximately 10,000 people turned out. Events included a march and rally with contingents from labor unions and antiwar groups. People sang, "We shall overcome" in response to the war, racist scapegoating and recent attacks on civil liberties.

The celebrations were an impressive display of people's willingness to fight.

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