As we enter into the spring semester, the struggle to Defend Public Education continues. This semester will play a significant role in the future of this struggle. We will be facing greater austerity measures — budget cuts, continued attacks on public education and social services, and another year of layoffs, fee hikes, and cost increases — not to mention foreclosures and unemployment that continue to devastate our communities.
The economic policies of neoliberal capitalism that have enriched Wall Street while exploiting working people will not change. The wars will continue as our schools and communities are devastated with massive cuts. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the bombs dropped in Vietnam explode at home — and this holds true today.
Students and youth across the globe have been responding to this crisis for years. Over the past few years, we have seen major actions in the UK, Greece, Puerto Rico, France, Argentina, Brazil, and many other countries. January 2011 saw students and youth play a significant role in the uprisings in Egypt and Tunsia. We have been inspired by the courage of our brothers and sisters and it is this inspiration that we must bring into our struggle.
In the US we have organized for two major days of action to defend public education, as part of the larger movement to fight back against the economic crisis. This year, we need to make a strong statement with our actions. It is our turn to step out and be bold. We must join with those fighting racist attacks and the banning of ethnic studies. This year we are calling for Month of Action in March to begin building a stronger student fight back, and to pull the energy of the youth into the streets.
We must be clear, this is only the beginning. March 2011 will be a month of escalating actions, beginning on March 2nd with a national day of action, called for by activists in California. We call for participation in the following actions:
March 31st National Day of Student Walkouts and Strikes
April 18th Actions in Defense of Ethnic Studies
People are often afraid to act alone. We must counteract this by being bold, stepping out and showing that we can, and will, win. As we break this mold, as we begin to unite our struggles and share our collective stories, fear will be taken over by inspiration; apathy will be taken over by a desire to fight. We must build our struggle so the media cannot ignore us. We must spread the struggle all over the country and learn from the models in California, New York, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Milwaukee and elsewhere.
We are incredibly inspired by the actions of our brothers and sisters internationally and continue to work with them to build for the Spring of Resistance. We know that this fight is not ours alone. We know that it will take more than one month to win it, but we must begin somewhere. We call on all students, youth faculty, teachers, parents, community members, and anyone who is concerned about the future of public education to join together in building for March. We are the ones with the solutions that can carry us forward. Let us join together in continued struggle.
The National Committee to Defend Public Education