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Students plan to protest budget cuts at GOP leader's Harvard speech tonight

Posted by Metro Desk  February 24, 2011 05:11 PM

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College students plan to attend Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s economic address at the Harvard Kennedy School tonight to protest cuts made by the Republican-controlled US House to dozens of federal programs, including AmeriCorps and a $1.5 billion cut in global health program funding.

Two separate protests are planned for Cantor’s speech, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. in at the school’s Institute of Politics kin Cambridge. The first was organized by student AIDS activists from Harvard, Dartmouth, the New School, Yale, and Wellesley universities and colleges. The second, consisting of AmeriCorps supporters from Harvard, Tufts, Lesley, and Northeastern universities.

“It was a funny coincidence that he was speaking here’’ today, said Frank Marino, a 20-year-old student at Northeastern University, who is participating in the AmeriCorps protest. “We thought this would be a good way to get our voices heard.”

Cantor spoke with the Globe's Glen Johnson earlier today. Read more here.

The AmeriCorps rally was organized by Harvard students after the cuts to AmeriCorps funding passed in the House. A public education campaign in newspapers and on the Internet, including facebook, has generated 98,000 signatures urging a repeal of the cuts.

The facebook event was posted on Sunday night, and currently has 701 members. Marino expects upwards of 300 to 400 students to attend tonight.

Marino said he thinks AmeriCorps is a valuable program not only because it provides students with a job after graduation, but also an opportunity to give back in the U.S.

“The importance and the power of the AmeriCorps program is to really serve the populations that are really underserved and underfunded,” he said. “For these families, communities and youth to lose their caring allies, mentors, role models through the cut of the AmeriCorps program (would be) such a complete shame.”


Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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