Wednesday, December 14, 2011

San Bernardino Sun: Riverside protest against more state budget cuts

'Vigil' protests cuts to state budget

By Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
San Bernardino Sun
Protester Carmen Magdaleno, 60 , of San Bernardino really in front of the Riverside Community Hospital on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and 14th Street Tuesday December 13, 2011 in Riverside. (Photo by LaFonzo Carter/ Staff Photographer, San Bernardino Sun)
RIVERSIDE - More than 60 protesters from San Bernardino and Riverside counties marched through downtown Riverside Tuesday night, carrying candles as a "vigil" for services that will be cut as part of the "trigger cuts" to the state budget announced earlier that day.
Waving signs with messages ranging from "Students First" to biblical references to the importance of caring for the needy, the protest was organized by 10 groups.
"I think the diversity of this group is what's most impressive - we're united and can't be divided," said Hector Guzman, a student at San Bernardino Valley College who has been involved in other movements, including Occupy San Bernardino Valley.
"I came as an individual, as a student and as a brother to a sister that is going to be affected by the (healthcare) cuts."
Guzman's sister has Down syndrome, he said, leaving the family vulnerable to the cuts to disabled services and higher education - two areas hardest hit by the cuts, which were agreed upon in June as a contingency if revenues didn't materialize as hoped. Some of those cuts were made, but not all.

Guzman and other protesters said they were opposed to any cuts - and to what they see as attempts to turn vulnerable groups against each other by framing the conversation in a way that assumes
some services must be reduced - and instead advocated a restructured tax code that would mean higher taxes for the wealthy.  
The cuts largely spared K-12 education, but there are many other problems that people urgently need to heed, said Joe Olague, a high school teacher and president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

"The trigger cuts are part of the problem," Olague said. "All of us are somehow touched by the economic woes that we have, areas that we should all be concerned about more than anything else, just the whole idea of what's happening in America today."

1 comment:

  1. The budget cuts are unfortunate; education and health services are vital to the community at large.

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