Dozens of protesters were arrested yesterday afternoon outside the Albany office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, where they were angrily protesting cuts to CUNY's senior and community campuses proposed in Cuomo's slasher-flick budget. As a "sizable" State Police contingent looked on, some 150 demonstrators marched in a circle in the Senate corridors outside the office, chanting, "Tax the rich, not the poor, stop the war on unions!" Video below:
Thirty-three members of CUNY's Professional Staff Congress [PSC] union opted to be arrested during the protest, and sat down on the floor in an act of civil disobedience. Capitol Confidential reports, "Methodically, troopers crouched down to read a script in which the protesters were informed that they were creating an unsafe blockade, and asked to move to a different spot. All refused, and stood up to have hands secured behind their backs."
"We made the decision to risk arrest because we cannot allow the injustice of this budget to stand," PSC President Barbara Bowen said in a statement. "We have lobbied and rallied and written in support of a fair budget, but our voices have not been heard. Albany is on the verge of passing a budget that is so damaging to our students and so fundamentally unjust that we had to take a stand." One demonstrator who was arrested, Eileen Moran, a retired CUNY Professor from Queens, tells the Daily Politics, "I got all my education at CUNY. It is time to pay back."
Of course, any demonstration like this magically transforms retirees like Moran into grass-smoking degenerate hippies in the eyes of our beloved NY Post. In a wonderful Archie Bunker-esque editorial today, the tabloid grumbles, "Once upon a time, CUNY's Professional Staff Congress comprised adults. No longer. Yesterday's demonstration essentially demanded that Cuomo -- who is visiting a 10 percent budget cut on the state workforce -- eliminate the soft-touch 4 percent cut he has booked for CUNY. But the professors are apparently too dumb to realize: That it ain't the '60s anymore." Your revolution is over, Professor! Condolences! The education system lost! The education system will always lose!