Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Rally for Wisconsin Wednesday

By Collegian News Staff

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Over the past week, rallies have been held in support of Wisconsin’s public workers across the country, from Portland to New York City. Now, the movement has hit the University of Massachusetts campus.

UMass students and members of the surrounding community are rallying on Wed., March 2, to support public workers in Wisconsin, who are at risk of losing their right to collective bargaining if the state’s budget passes in its current form.

“If we don’t stop this attack on public sector unions and their right to bargain in Wisconsin and Ohio, we will be fighting it here in Massachusetts before too long. Solidarity isn’t altruism – it’s mutual aid and self defense,” said Donna Johnson, President of the University Staff Association.

Organizers said March 2 is considered a national day of action to defend the public sector.

One student at UMass said this issue is apart of a much larger issue, a lack of public funding.

“Here in Massachusetts, the state keeps cutting support for higher education so college is harder and harder to afford for working and middle class students,” said Ben Taylor, a UMass senior who is active with PHENOM, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts. “I myself will be graduating with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. This too is an attack on the public sector.”

The rally will begin outside of the Student Union at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Speakers during the rally will include local union leaders, student speakers and the President of the Hampshire-Franklin Labor Council. All are expected to discuss various issues affecting the public sector. Following the rally, there will be a discussion in the Cape Cod Lounge.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected]

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