Wednesday, January 20, 2010

National Youth Leader Larry Hales to Tour Michigan in Support of the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Education


National youth leader Larry Hales to tour Michigan for

March 4 ‘National Day Of Action to Defend Education’

Contact: Bryan G. Pfeifer: 313-559-7074 /

On March 4, 2010, students and workers across the United States will take action to defend education against increased privatization of K-12 schools and budget cuts, layoffs, furloughs and tuition increases at the college and university level—especially at public institutions.

During the week of Feb. 1-5, March 4 organizer and Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) leader, Larry Hales will tour campuses, schools and workplaces throughout Michigan. Those interested in scheduling Hales for an event or media interview, can contact the March 4 Michigan Tour Organizer Bryan G. Pfeifer at: 313-559-7074.


Workers and students have shouldered the brunt of the economic crisis, while bankers and corporations have been given hundreds of billions of dollars of public monies to bail them out of a crisis that was created by the rich themselves.

Young people in particular are faced with a grim future, one where well-paying jobs with benefits are becoming scarcer, where the educational system is being increasingly privatized and teachers’ and other worker unions are weakened, and where the curriculum is being designed to prepare future generations for worldwide competition for low-wage jobs.

Colleges and universities are getting further out of reach for many, and those who are able to attend must mortgage their futures. It is the current political climate, on top of the draconian measures taken by state governments across the country, that helped give birth to the idea of having a national day of action.

At their Oct. 4 conference, California students and faculty, teachers and other workers first called for March 4 to be a statewide day of action.

California students have taken bold action, occupying a number of universities — University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State, to name only two. The action and energy from California have sparked the interest of many across the U.S., who then reached out to California students to make the statewide day of action a national day.

In mid-December the California Coordinating Committee and activists, students, educators and other workers from across the country released complementary statements agitating for a March 4 National Day of Action (see below or go to:

March 4 National Day of Action to Defend Education

As people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks. Budget cuts degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place. Non-unionized charter schools threaten to divide, weaken and privatize the public school system and damage teachers’ unions, which are needed now more than ever. More and more students are going deep into debt to finance their education, while high unemployment forces many students and youth to join the military to receive a higher education. And all of the attacks described above have hit working people and people of color the hardest.

In California, students, teachers, workers, parents, and faculty have taken action against these attacks. They took to the streets in a one-day strike on September 24th, organized strikes and actions across the state during the University of California Board of Regents meeting from November 18th to 20th, and have called for a state-wide day of action on March 4th. These actions have created a broad mass movement in California, drawing in students from all over the state to create a powerful struggle. As the effects of the economic crisis continue to spread into the education system nationally, it’s time to join our voices with students and workers in California and draw inspiration from their example.

We support each group or coalition organizing in the manner and for the duration of their choosing. In solidarity with those in California, we the below-signed individuals and organizations call on students, teachers, workers, parents, faculty, and staff across the country to join together on March 4th to Take A Stand For Education!

Visit the Web site for more details at .

Endorse the call at the bottom of the page or by sending an email to

Find us on Facebook at .

To join the national discussion, please visit the March 4th Google Group at

National Call for March 4 Strike and Day of Action To Defend Public Education

California has recently seen a massive movement erupt in defense of public education — but layoffs, fee hikes, cuts, and the re-segregation of public education are attacks taking place throughout the country. A nationwide resistance movement is needed.

We call on all students, workers, teachers, parents, and their organizations and communities across the country to massively mobilize for a Strike and Day of Action in Defense of Public Education on March 4, 2010. Education cuts are attacks against all of us, particularly in working-class communities and communities of color.

The politicians and administrators say there is no money for education and social services. They say that “there is no alternative” to the cuts. But if there’s money for wars, bank bailouts, and prisons, why is there no money for public education?

We can beat back the cuts if we unite students, workers, and teachers across all sectors of public education — Pre K-12, adult education, community colleges, and state-funded universities. We appeal to the leaders of the trade union movement to support and organize strikes and/or mass actions on March 4. The weight of workers and students united in strikes and mobilizations would shift the balance of forces entirely against the current agenda of cuts and make victory possible.

Building a powerful movement to defend public education will, in turn, advance the struggle in defense of all public-sector workers and services and will be an inspiration to all those fighting against the wars, for immigrants rights, in defense of jobs, for single-payer health care, and other progressive causes.

Why March 4? On October 24, 2009 more than 800 students, workers, and teachers converged at UC Berkeley at the Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education. This massive meeting brought together representatives from over 100 different schools, unions, and organizations from all across California and from all sectors of public education. After hours of open collective discussion, the participants voted democratically, as their main decision, to call for a Strike and Day of Action on March 4, 2010. All schools, unions and organizations are free to choose their specific demands and tactics — such as strikes, rallies, walkouts, occupations, sit-ins, teach-ins, etc. — as well as the duration of such actions.

Let’s make March 4 an historic turning point in the struggle against the cuts, layoffs, fee hikes, and the re-segregation of public education.

- The California Coordinating Committee
California Contacts (also refer to the contacts list in development):

Endorsed by:

October 24 Statewide Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education
California Labor Federation
California Faculty Association
California Federation of Teachers
United Teachers of Los Angeles
United Educators of San Francisco
AFSCME Local 444

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