Bianca, a French teacher assistant at UC Berkeley, said at the Sept. 24 rally against cutbacks at UC Berkeley that when she came from Spain to the United States she was told that the United States has the strongest economy in the world and that California has the 9th strongest economy in the world. So when hearing that cutbacks at UC and raising tuition were needed, she said, "I don't believe it." When she heard peopel say that the United States can't afford single payer health insurance, she said, "I don't believe it." She said, "Show me the budget." She said that the United States can afford to fight a war in Afghanistan and can afford to fight a war in Iraq but can't afford to give higher education to students in its most populous stateand and can't afford to give health insurnace to all its people. She can't believe it.
I can't believe it either. I don't think any of the cuts of California education or parks or education elsewhere in the nation are needed. I think the unncessary wars don't defend the citizenry but bankrupt the country and make sure 44,000 citizens die/year of lack of health care. In the six years that the Iraq war has gone on thats over 200,000 United States citizens have died from lack of health care compared over 3,000 dead soldiers. I think we let our citizens lives be wasted and bankrupt ourselves in coporate handouts to the military industrial corporations who make obscene profits.
At UC Berkeley a week before the rally/march the administration reacted to the growing anti-cutback movement on campus by firing 34 janitors, most of whom are immigrants. If you watch the videos of the UC Berkeley ralley, the students had one of the janitors speak at the ralley. The students say that the head of the university makes nearly $1 million/year plus lives in a mansion on the hilltop which is subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $11,000/month. Meanwhile the immigrant janitors lose their jobs. Many of the speakers at the ralley were students of color who say that with cutbacks and tuition hikes fewer and fewer students of color will come to Berkeley. The students of color organization had an outreach program to talk to more low income students but that programs budget was cut $20,000. They see themselves being squeezed out of the universiity. The students at the ralley show a real solidarity with UPTE workers on their one-day strike and with the laid off janitors as well as with the faculty. It's heartening to see the solidarity between students, workers, and faculty in fighting these cutbacks, and it's heartening to see the leadership by students of color.
Causes Julia Stein Supports
Doctors Without Borders