By Rodolfo Tirabarro
On March 24, a protest to oppose layoffs and cuts in health and education halted traffic in the financial district of New York. New York is being hit badly by the financial crisis. Meanwhile, politicians are trying to safeguard the interests of the rich by cutting the budget. The deadline to submit the new budget is on April 1st.
The month of March is of great significance to the American working class. In fact, March 25th marked the hundredth anniversary of the devastating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire which killed 146 immigrant workers of Jewish and Italian origins. This is considered one of the largest industrial disaster occurred in the city of New York.
The protest began as a rally. Approximately one thousand workers and students marched through the financial district and Wall Street. The protesters made their voices heard and demanded a stop to the cuts and layoffs that are taking place at the hands of Republicans and Democrats. People chanted in both English and Spanish “The people united will never be defeated” and “Make the rich pay.”
The event was organized by public- sector unions and student groups from City University of New York (CUNY) which has a high population of low-income students. Actually, many young people attended.
Among those present teachers from United Federation of Teachers (UFT), public-sector workers from DC37 and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) among others.
The spirit of solidarity with Wisconsin was present throughout the march in some of the chants and banners.