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"Build schools not Prisons!”

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An energetic and noisy rally held in front of Hill International to protest funds being spent on prisons when Pennsylvania could be spending to improve its' schools.

Video | City Paper Coverage | List of demands | Fact Sheet

Rally to De-Carcerate PA

17 Aug 2011

 

Pictures and italicized descriptions by Rich Gardner, story

"Build schools not Prisons!” by Sachio Ko-yin, links supplied by onion of The Defenestrator.

list of demands
list of demands

List of demands to support schools for Pennsylvania as opposed to prisons. PA plans to spend $685 million to expand prisons. The people of PA demand that those monies be re-directed to schools. Fact Sheet.

gathering
gathering

We all gathered just to the South of City Hall. City Paper did a piece on the action.

Hakim
Hakim

Hakim was the emcee for the speakers at the rally.

hip-hop artist
hip-hop artist

Video (MP4)

demonsrators
demonsrators

"Build schools not Prisons!”

By Sachio Ko-yin

On Wednesday, August 17, at 15th and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia, about 130 people gathered across from the office of Hill International to protest prison expansion in Pennsylvania.

LAVA members
LAVA members

Three LAVA members listen to a speaker.

puppet
puppet

The rally was organized by Decarcerate PA, a coalition of community groups opposed to the state's proposed construction of two new prisons on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County. Hill International is a multinational corporation chosen to manage the construction of the prisons.

Throughout the rally, a succession of community organizers, poets, students and teachers spoke and performed, drawing attention to the Corbett administration's recent cuts in education.

speaker
speaker

According to the Education Law Center, said activists, education funding has been slashed by almost 1 billion dollars. In stark contrast, the group points out that the Administration has raised the Department of Corrections budget by $186 Million. The group adds that figure is in addition to $685 million already set aside to build three new prisons, two of which will be built an hour outside of Philadelphia by Hill International.

speaker
speaker

The lively rally was emceed by Hakim Ali of Decarcerate PA and Reconstruction Incorporated, who gave fiery words between speakers and led the rally in chanting "tell legislation to invest in Education!"

young mom
young mom

A young mom checks out our list of demands with her child.

wheelchair
demonstrators

The speakers and poets each in their own ways gave first-hand accounts of how their communities are hurt by the budget cuts and the unethical corrections industry. "You can't sell out our communities to balance a budget" said speaker Mia-lia Kiernan of the One Love Movement.

speaker
speaker

Student Amanda Dupree spoke, standing next to her recently laid-off teacher: "My classmates and I feel...by cutting our schools and funding these prisons, they are setting us up for failure!"

speaker
speaker

As the lively ceremony progressed, people stood with signs along the perimeter of the intersection, including a giant puppet of Governor Corbett. The reaction from passing traffic seemed overwhelmingly positive. Several speakers had to pause as cars wildly honked their horns in support.

crowd
crowd

Comentarios

If

IF Y'all put this misdirected energy into abetting crime in your communities then there would be no need for more prisons. As to education...PARENTS should take charge of their offspring in teaching them right from wrong and assisting in their HOMEWORK instead letting the young ones hang out on the corner. I also understand there are many inner city schools where teachers have difficulty controlling the classroom from those who disrupt. Again, this goes back to the home environment. Don't blame the City...blame the root cause...the Parents/ students..and to some extent...teachers. Do the crime...do the time...you earned it.

Jon Pisano