Update from Bloombergville, New York City

Laura from NYC updates on what is happening:

Hundreds of New Yorkers have joined a broad coalition of groups protesting against city budget cuts. Coined “Bloombergville”, after the New York City Mayor, the encampment was inspired by the movements in Egypt and Wisconsin. Though city law prevents them from entering the municipal building or the square in front of it, protesters have erected a ‘tent city’ in the shadow of the town hall. Since the action began nine days ago, hundreds of people have visited the site and many have spent the night on mattresses, cushions and cardboard boxes on the pavement. There has been a steady timetable of events, with rallies at noon each day and a ‘general assembley’ meeting every evening, where decisions are made democratically with all involved. This evening, academic Frances Fox-Piven, famous for being the target of multiple attacks from right-wing talk show host Glen Beck, was invited to speak at a teach-in on the past and present of social movements. In a spirited discussion she encouraged protesters saying “Business is always strong in this country when there are no social movements. More people need to do what you’re doing.”
This is not the first action against cuts in the city. On June 15th 15,000 workers marched to City Hall, calling for Bloomberg to scrap the austerity budget and repeal tax breaks worth $1.5 billion to Wall Street. But the organisers of Bloombergville argue that the time for one-off events has past, and that the scale of the protest must match the scale of the threat. Yotam, a 25 year-old leader of the protest said he had been attracted to the camp by the urgency of the struggle. “The cuts will tear working class communities apart,” he said. “This is an important moment and we need to seize it. Doug, a student and adjunct teacher said that he knows many teachers who cannot find work already. As the major unions are expected to cut a deal with the city this weekend, protesters are realising that the issues go beyond the budget, to the way workers are treated in New York.  “There are so many out of work, but even those with jobs can be fired on the spot,” said Doug. “We need a fight back and we need it now.”

About educationactivistnetwork
The education activist network provides national coordination for trade unionists, academics, university workers and student campaigners fighting to defend jobs and education in the UK.

One Response to Update from Bloombergville, New York City

  1. Mary Clinton says:

    day 10 is going strong!

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