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Friday, April 27, 2012

Power to the people - Editorials - Truro Daily News

This editorial in a daily Nova Scotia, Canada, newspaper praises local residents who are "taking to the streets and gymnasiums in protest this month. We're not just talking about one solitary protest either."

The protests include a plan to slash all the librarians in the regional school district. That protest, so far, has included five "very visible public gatherings" that have attracted hundreds of people, according to the editorial:
This grassroots form of democracy kicked off with a bang when an estimated 500 students from the three county high schools ... walked out of classes ....
And other protests began, on various budget issues:
  • At least 175 people, many carrying signs, attended a school board meeting to express their concerns about consequences of the school district budget shortfall.
  • About 100 teachers and supporters of the teachers' union protested in front of a district office, after school, carrying banners like "schools are not broken, they're broke,'" and "cuts hurt kids."
  • About 80 people gathered in front of a community college sport and wellness center, lobbying for answers about the college plan to close  to public access the center and an adjoining pool to public access.
  • And then 15 members a grandparents' rights group took to the streets with signs and brochures, lobbying for "rights to see their grandchildren in times of family unrest."
I like how that citizen action is contagious! I don't know any of the budget facts in Nova Scotia, but as I know about such things in my city, county, state and country, protesting budget cuts isn't enough. People must also discuss sources of revenue, perhaps considering the need for additional revenue. 

The editorial concludes:
We applaud every single person involved in these protests for going the extra mile in an effort to be heard. We may not agree with every issue but we sure as heck admire their strength of conviction. 
Power to the people. In Colchester County, it's an idea that seems to be gaining traction this spring.
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