On Inauguration Day, University of Texas Students walk out of classes and join people from all over Texas gathering to protest Donald Trump's politics of fear and hate. This is a call to action to rally for justice and dignity for all. America faces a crisis. Donald Trump's presidency threatens millions. We must rally, protest, organize, and support one another. We must resist. We rally for civil rights, immigrants' rights, reproductive rights, our environment, good jobs, and justice and safety in all of our communities. Video by Jeff Zavala at ZGraphix Productions & Austin Indymedia.
Grassroots organizers and activists from across Texas took to the South Steps of the Texas State Capitol on January 19, 2013 to mark the third anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and rally in support of two concurrent Texas resolutions before the 83rd Legislature calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish that political expenditures are not protected speech under the First Amendment, and only natural persons are protected by constitutional rights.
Well over 11,000 parents, teachers, educators and community leaders from over 300 independent school districts converged at the state capital in Austin on Saturday, March 12.
“Today, Texans have come together in great numbers and have sent a very strong, clear message to our elected officials that we must do better by the children of our state by funding education to the maximum extent possible,” says Allen Weeks of Save Texas Schools, the grassroots coalition organizing the rally, and director of Austin Voices for Education and Youth.
“And it’s not over with this rally. We’re going to continue our fight to keep Texas smart.”
After a drum line led blocks of rally-goers on a march starting from Waterloo Park to the Capital grounds, a fantastic line-up of speakers and performers made heartfelt pleas for education.
“We live in the 21st century. We have a global economy,” said Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, in his podium address. “Here in Texas I wonder how long the fortune 500 companies will stick around if we can’t produce the students who can compete,”
Superintendent John-Kuhn of Perrin-Whitt, CISD, rollicked the crowds with his impassioned speech, saying: “Public school teachers, you are the saviors of this society. You are the first responders standing in this rubble while they sit in their offices and scribble judgmentally on their clipboards. You are heroes and what you do isn’t worth $27 billion; it is priceless.”
In a unified voice, rally participants urged legislators to take three critical steps to help close state budget gaps that are threatening education:
Use the $9.3 billion Texas “Rainy Day” Fund to help rescue schools from the current crisis. Sign the paperwork for $830 million in federal aid for teachers. Fix school funding laws to be fair to all districts and our growing student population.
After the rally, Save Texas Schools offered a training to those who plan to continue to work for public education across the state. Topics covered included how to keep the grassroots effort growing, how the legislative process works, and how education is funded in Texas.
Under threat of campus closures, teacher layoffs and program cutbacks, community leaders from across the state are organizing a massive march and rally at the state capitol building in Austin on March. The march will begin at 11 am, starting in Waterloo Park at 12th & Trinity in Austin. The rally will take place on the South Steps of the Texas State Capital building from noon- 2 pm.
“Texas students have never faced a crisis like this, but there is help if our leaders have the courage to use it,” says Allen Weeks of Save Texas Schools, the grassroots coalition organizing the rally, and director of Austin Voices for Education and Youth.
This year, the Texas legislature is considering proposals to reduce public education funding by billions of dollars statewide.
“On March 12, we plan to send a unified message to our legislators and our governor that it’s time to do everything possible save Texas schools and the children they serve,” says Weeks.
Schools and students in districts including Austin, Dallas, Denton, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, among others, are bearing the brunt of state budget shortfalls, but every district is affected. At the March 12 rally, students, educators, parents, and business and community leaders from across Texas will urge state leaders to make public education a top priority by:
* Using the $9.3 billion Texas "Rainy Day" Fund to help rescue schools from the current crisis.
* Signing the paperwork for $830 million in federal aid for teachers.
* Fixing school funding laws to be fair to all districts and our growing studentpopulation.
For more information: Go to www.savetxschools.org for background information on key issues, rally logistics and how to get involved.