Oakland teachers ask banks for “bailout”
on January 14, 2011
About 30 teachers gathered Thursday to demonstrate in front of three banks at the Rockridge shopping center at 51st Street and Broadway.
The Oakland Education Association, the 2,700-member union that represents teachers in the Oakland Unified School District, organized the protest. McClymonds Teacher Craig Gordon explained the group was there to “demand that schools and public services be bailed out” the same way that banks were bailed out during the mortgage crisis.
It was more of a symbolic request than anything else–a request for regulators to put the same urgent priority on education spending that had been placed on the economic rescue of the financial system. Bloomberg News estimated that at one point last year, the U.S. had loaned, spent or offered as much as $12.8 trillion on this rescue.
But Gordon and other participants said they would also be happy if the banks donated some money to school system, or the banks were taxed at a higher rate and that money was put towards education.
Representatives from the banks that were picketed–Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America–declined to comment on these requests or on the protest.
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