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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students plan May 1 walkout

    A sign informing students about Proposition 300 stands outside the Administration building April 9.
    A sign informing students about Proposition 300 stands outside the Administration building April 9.

    A group of about 40 Arizona students spoke out against Proposition 300 at Pima Community College’s downtown campus yesterday and planned for a protest May 1.

    Coordinator Wesley Creigh, a PCC junior studying social justice and public art, announced to a handful of media outlets that participants were advocating for a community protest in direct response to the implementation of Proposition 300, which prohibits illegal immigrants from paying in-state tuition or receiving financial aid.

    During the press conference, Creigh announced plans to stage a protest against Proposition 300 starting at 8 a.m. May 1, similar to one that took place last year.

    Protest organizers said in a press release that demonstrators will gather at Southgate Shopping Center and march down North Sixth Avenue toward the downtown Federal Building. The rally will commence following a rally at Armory Park at noon.

    The majority of students at the event were holding signs that displayed their disapproval for the newly passed law. One read “”Prop 300 = School Segregation, Education is for Everyone”” and another read “”Fair & Equal Rights for All Students.””

    Creigh said Proposition 300 would segregate schools and “”predetermine”” kids for failure or cause them to join the military. Creigh and other demonstrators said the new law will cause students to be forced out of school and in turn cause them to get low-paying jobs in the future.

    Misael Ordonez, a PCC media arts freshman and member of the May 1 coalition, said the government isn’t being realistic and isn’t treating affected students like human beings.

    Ordonez said the government is taking away their basic human rights to work and shelter by forcing them to comply with the new law. President Bush’s new immigration plan could cost some families $2,000 or even $5,000 to become legal residents.

    “”If they want to globalize exploitation, then they have to globalize workers’ rights too,”” Ordonez said. “”They need to face the reality that people come here for better salaries and a better life.””

    May 1, the last Tuesday of the semester, is reserved as a review day for many classes, so some students said walking out in protest could hurt people academically. May 1 is also National Worker’s Day, which is why the event was held the same day last year as well.

    Helain Day, a UA junior majoring in Latin American studies and community health education, said that with every struggle people have to make a sacrifice, and this protest represents that sacrifice.

    “”If you have a profound belief in human rights, it requires that people to come together and say ‘this is unacceptable’ and try and make changes,”” Day said.

    Monica Martinez, UA political science senior and community relations representative for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), said MEChA is trying to support immigrant and student rights. MEChA, a Chicano student movement, recently took a stand with the May 1 coalition to protest Proposition 300.

    According to the press release, the march is in response to a nationwide call to support immigration rights and calls for people to not attend school or work as well as not to buy or sell anything.

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