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May 12, 2011

Teachers, students rally against Mayor's budget

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The rally started Thursday afternoon and went into the night with teachers and parents demanding a better budget from the mayor.

They were passionate about their cause.

Thousands [including members of Make the Road New York] demonstrated on the streets surrounding Wall Street and some took part in a sit-in, leading police to pick them up and haul them off.

But it didn't simmer down from there.

Instead it escalated into a shoving match between police and protestors.

They're angry about the mayor's budget which will cut 6,000 teachers and lead to 20 fire companies closing.

"It seems as if our teachers, our cops and our firefighters are being blamed for our ongoing financial problems, and that's essentially what this rally is about," City Comptroller John Liu said.

They feel like Bloomberg's budget is being balanced on the backs of city workers, without the help of a tax on millionaires.

"Tax the rich. We need to get the money from there so we don't have to endure these cut backs," said Andrew Lenton, a protestor.

But the mayor says the cuts aren't his fault.

He blames Albany for gutting city revenue.

"Rather than be downtown protesting maybe they should have been in Albany talking about the cuts that, if they thought we should have money why don't they go to Albany and fight for it?" Mayor Bloomberg said.

Rally organizers say they want the mayor to at least tap into what's left of a city surplus.

Protestors had two more things on their minds: the war and Wall Street.

"The banks have been using our money. What we need is jobs and education not a war," said Mercy Vanblack, a protestor.

"The mayor doesn't have to do this, he's not telling the truth, the money is there," City Councilman Charles Barron said.

For the original article, please click here.

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