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Indybay Feature
Sun Jun 27 2010 (Updated 06/28/10)
US Education Secretary Arne Duncan Draws Protesters at Foothill College Graduation
Sun Jun 27 2010 (Updated 06/28/10)
Obama Administration, Foothill College President Attempt to Halt Demonstration
United Public Workers for Action (UPWA) called for a demonstration against the privatization of public education when it was announced that US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would be the keynote speaker at Foothill Community College's graduation ceremony. After the UPWA initially received permission from the college administration to stage a peaceful protest, Foothill College president Judy Miner called organizer and Skyline Community College instructor George Wright to ask that he cancel the planned demonstration. Wright was also contacted by counsel at the office of the Education Secretary.

Demonstrators showed up as planned at the graduation ceremony on the evening of June 25th. Although cordoned off to a "free speech zone", protesters were able to make their case against the Obama administration's attempts to privatize the public school system as they spoke to students lined up to walk to the stage. Graduating students, especially those anticipating careers in education and counseling, shared similar concerns with the demonstrators, who explained that the Obama administration's emphasis on charter schools is linked to the demonization of teachers unions.

photoRead more | United Public Workers for Action
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