Why shutdown? Because we need to show that we will not stand by as another budget cutting austerity measure is pushed through as we have seen before in the past. Because we need to show that we mean business and that we won’t settle till solutions are found. Previous historical shutdowns that have been successful in obtaining their objectives include: The 1999 Seattle WTO Protest that effectively shutdown the city and the 2011 Shutdown of the West Coast Ports.
Why PPS Headquarters? Obviously PPS isn’t the source of the problem. There are larger economic and political reasons why we are being forced these budget cuts. It’d be great to bus thousands of kids down to Salem or to Washington DC, or the homes of every Multi – Millionaire and Billionaire who enjoys low taxes – but right now that’s not an easily realizable thing. However, PPS Headquarters is home to those who can put pressure on the people who are voting on where our money goes. These workers are facing cuts as well. More than anything this is symbolic; PPS Headquarters is after all the epicenter of the district and of its affairs.
Why Striking? Because by leaving school we demonstrate that we are unwilling to associate with a system that would force our teachers to leave through budget cuts. To Protest the programs we have lost, and the programs we will loss. As Sophie Montgomery said “organized campaigns of non-cooperation such as this are incredibly instrumental in the fight for moral justice in our system, and have been throughout our history”. We are protesting to build awareness for the general populace and to educate workers and the community on what is at stake for our future. There is a vote taking place on May 14th, it is of PPS officials to decide whether or not to accept the current budget proposal. This action is to apply pressure to those officials to get them to vote NO. This action is essential, and so is contacting your reps and a number of countless small efforts we can do every hour, everyday. What separates this from that, is that this is organized and coherent. That this will get on the news. That this is public.