Georgia students protest tuition hikes, scholarship cuts, and anti-immigrant measures

Video by GSPHE.

March 8, 2011

At noon today Georgia Students for Public Higher Education (GSPHE) organized a rally against drastic cuts to the HOPE scholarship at the Georgia State University (GSU) courtyard. GSU students marched to the Georgia capitol building where they gathered with students from across the state. A group of students joined the protest from the Board of Regents meeting, where they had made their voices heard protesting both HOPE cuts and HB 59 (banning undocumented students from attending Georgia universities).

At the rally, students shared how their lives would be affected by the HOPE cuts, elementary school students added their concern, and representatives of Rainbow/PUSH and American Friends Service Committee gave their support. Following the rally in front of the capitol, students continued their peaceful protest in the Senate gallery. Students chanted and dropped banners at which time they were escorted out of the gallery. They continued chanting as they were removed from the building, and others in the gallery applauded the students’ actions. One student was violently arrested despite full cooperation with the capitol police. Approximately a dozen students were given criminal trespass warnings. More student protesters chanted “Keep HOPE alive!” more than an hour after the first group of students was escorted out of the building.

Dedicated student activists and newly energized students joined together to make their voices heard and show that democracy is not a spectator sport. Students in Georgia stand with students across the country and around the world to oppose austerity measures at the expense of students in order to solve a crisis which students did not create.

GSPHE plans continuing protests and events in coming days. More information is available at www.georgiastudents.org and @georgiastudents (Twitter).

GEORGIA STUDENTS FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION (GSPHE) is a coalition of students across the state of Georgia who believe that education is a right and should be affordable for all. We support workers within colleges and universities, from the person who cleans to the person who grades. Furthermore, we stand in full solidarity with undocumented students as they fulfill their human right to a quality, affordable higher education.