By PAUL MAVERICK
The California budget meltdown brings thousands of teachers and their allies out in force, for the “State of Emergency” rally in Pershing Square on Friday, May 13, 2011. From all corners of Los Angeles and Orange County they come, to show their strength in opposing the devastating cuts to public education funding, which may go as high as $12 billion next year – following several years of deep cuts already – if Governor Brown’s tax extension package is not passed. The crowd, estimated at five thousand, hears speeches from union leaders, parents, teachers, and public health workers, as well as musical performances from folk singer Ross Altman, and the “Samba at Saticoy” elementary school band from North Hollywood.
The first video below provides a five-minute overview of the event. Following this is a short series of spotlight videos, highlighting certain speakers and musical performances.
In the video below, folk singer Ross Altman performs the labor movement anthem, “Solidarity Forever,” at the State of Emergency rally for public education at Pershing Square Park in downtown Los Angeles, on Friday, May 13, 2011.
The following video features Pat McOsker, president of the United Fire Fighters of Los Angeles City, speaking at the “State of Emergency” rally. McOsker describes the threats to public safety, and increased dangers of devastation from wildfires, due to the savage state budget cuts.
In the video below, Eric Heins, the newly-elected Vice-President of the California Teachers Association, and a kindergarten teacher from Pittsburg, CA, provides the keynote address at the “State of Emergency” rally.
In this final spotlight video from the “State of Emergency” rally, folk singer (and former high school teacher) Ross Altman performs Woody Guthrie’s 1940 classic folk song, “Union Maid.”