Jun 20, 2005
On June 14, boos, jeers and chants from students and faculty alike practically drowned out Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger when he tried to give the commencement address to the graduating class at Santa Monica College, a two-year community college.
Only days before the graduation, Schwarzenegger had ordered a special election in California for this fall to consider several propositions. One proposition would grant the governor the ability to make cuts in spending more easily, especially for social programs and education. Another proposition would delay tenure for teachers from two to five years. A third proposition would make it more difficult for public service unions to raise funds for political or electoral purposes.
Schwarzenegger has been locked in a battle with state workers and nurses over his attempt to impose cuts.
Since the beginning of the year, unions representing nurses, teachers, state workers and fire fighters have been organizing protests against the governor. Schwarzenegger cannot make a public appearance, not just in California but around the country, without having to contend with hundreds or even thousands of picketers and protesters.
But Schwarzenegger is hardly acting alone. On the contrary, he is only a mouthpiece for the very wealthy, who have filled his campaign fund for the special election with a record amount of cash. So these next months are shaping up to be of a kind of war.
But the Democrats propose no alternative. The day after Schwarzenegger announced the special election, the Democrats in the state legislature, who constitute the majority, announced that they would not oppose the budget that Schwarzenegger proposed for next year.
No, the only difference between Schwarzenegger and the Democrats is that one attacks from the front, while the other from the back. State workers, nurses, firemen, and the rest of the population can only count on themselves and other working people to stop these attacks – just as they have up until now.