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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Students plan rally to protest cuts in the education budget

The Associated Students Organization (ASO) will be hosting an organized rally aimed at addressing budget cuts to schools in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Wednesday, Oct. 26.

The rally, dubbed “Where’s the Funding?” (WTF?), will begin at 12:30 p.m., and is expected to last for two hours, according to ASO President Gabriel Mellibosky.

“This event is going to be just like the rally we had last semester, but it’s on a larger scale,” said Mellibosky. “While we had a week to plan out the last rally, this time we have one month and a week.”

Participants are expected to congregate by the bull statue on the Mall. From there, protestors are to walk toward the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Winnetka Avenue. The majority of the rally will be conducted there.

One of the main differences between the upcoming rally and the last rally organized by the ASO is the route that participants will be walking.

During last semester’s rally, protestors marched to the intersection of Victory and Mason from the corner of Victory and Winnetka.

“This time we’re staying in Victory/Winnetka,” said Mellibosky. “That’s where we get more attention.”

WTF? is also expected to be more of a district-wide effort, as opposed a campus-wide one.

Mellibosky expects students from Los Angeles Mission College and Los Angeles Valley College, the two LACCD colleges closest to Pierce, to come and participate in the rally.

Advertising in the two schools is done through two mediums, the American Federation of Teachers and the schools’ respective student governments, according to Mellibosky.

“The further [colleges] are just sending their executive boards to the rally,” he said.

The ASO, along with campus club Students Organizing for Success (SOS), is also trying to get members of the immediate community involved with the protest.

In order to capitalize on that, Mellibosky plans on handing out flyers in public venues like restaurants. He also plans on utilizing the marquee located at the corner of Victory and Winnetka.

“I really wanted to do door-to-door advertising, but we don’t have enough people for that,” he said.

All nine campuses in the LACCD are also hosting their own events throughout the week that the rally will be occurring, according to Mellibosky.

Plans for the event are still tentative, as organizers are still waiting for the Los Angeles Police Department to process paperwork they turned in, according to ASO Senator and SOS member Andrea Murray.

Organizers are also trying to get state officials to participate in the rally, according to SOS Treasurer Naveed Halavi.

SOS will be having their first legislative visit Friday, Oct. 21. They will be speaking to state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley and state Senator Fran Pavley.

“We need a lot of people at the protest,” said Halavi.

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