The teachers, students, press, and members of the public met in San Diego's Balboa Park on Thursday, to rally together to protest California's brutal budget cuts to education. Representing every teachers' and educators' union in San Diego County, they came together as one to make their voices heard.
When Southwestern College's union president, Phil Lopez, came up to speak to the crowd (that's him at the microphone), the faculty that was present joined him. "We're in this together," he told them. Because of the recent actions at the college (as written about on this blog, and now in many other places), the rally received them well.
Professors spoke, some with tears in their eyes, about the effects the slashed budget had on their schools, their classes, and their students. It goes without saying that none of it was positive.
After an hour or so, the educators and their students left Balboa Park, marching into downtown San Diego to the Federal Building - where Governor Schwarzenegger has his local office.
The marchers were boisterous and jubilant, inviting passersby to join them. At San Diego's City College, and one of the local high schools, some students did. Many professionals who watched them pass applauded and cheered them.
At the Federal Building, the marchers sat down in the street. They explained to those watching that if the cuts continue, then the students will be learning like that - in the street, teaching each other - with no buildings, no classrooms, no classes, and no one to teach them.
Member of the press crowded around to get photos, film, and interviews with the protestors:
No one came out of the Federal Building to speak with them. I doubt anyone expected them to. But the point was made to everyone watching, to everyone who saw it on the news, and to everyone who would hear about it on the radio, or read about it: