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Looking Back: Massive May 16th Mobilization For NC Public Schools

Jeremy Sprinkle
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NC unions delivered food, water, and solidarity at May 16th "Respect for Public Education" Advocacy Day

On May 16th, tens of thousands of teachers, staff, parents, and students marched on Raleigh to pressure state lawmakers to provide funding for the schools North Carolina students deserve, and North Carolina's labor federation was there to lend a hand -- delivering food in advance for Wake County students, raising money to bus folks to Raleigh, keeping marchers happy and hydrated, and adding our voice of support for the largest collective action taken by North Carolina public employees in recent history.

“The unions of the NC State AFL-CIO join with teachers, school employees, parents, and students in demanding that our legislature invest more in public education,” said President MaryBe McMillan in a statement released to the media. "Our students deserve better, and by standing up and standing together, we will ensure they get better.”

We Stand in #Solidarity with N.C. Teachers and School Employees! Read our statement: ✊✊✊

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

Click here to see all of our coverage on Twitter -- including photos and video -- of North Carolina's #Red4Ed mobilization.

May 16th in Tweets

Unions of working people in the Southern Piedmont Central Labor Council raised over $3,000 to help the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators provide bus transit to and from Raleigh.

Ashley @LU_379 with the President of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators. @704_SPCLC unions donated over $3k for buses to Raleigh today!

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

The day before the rally, the NC State AFL-CIO teamed up with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, and the Wake County Association of Educators to deliver 500 bags of food to Ligon Middle School in Raleigh for distribution to Wake Co. students affected by the school board's decision to cancel classes on May 16th.

Delivering 500 weekend packs - 4 pallets of food - to feed Ligon Middle students when teachers and staff rally tomorrow for the schools they deserve.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

500 weekend packs of food delivered! Ligon Middle Schoolers will be ready for schools to be closed for the @ncae rally tomorrow! Are you?

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

And the state federation purchased and organized the distribution of over 4,500 bottles of water and handed out over a thousand pamphlets about unions to marchers making their way through Union Square and around the Old State Capitol to the rally at the state legislative building.

Just picked up a little water for the thousands of teachers and staff expected to march on #NCGA tomorrow.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

These water bottles made possible by union wages! NC unions provided over 4500 bottles to people marching in Raleigh today.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

Free water and our thanks to teachers, staff, parents, and students marching and rallying today for the schools NC students deserve!

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

BIG thanks to @NC_DSA for showing up w/volunteers to help us pass out water and show some ❤ for everyone who marched today! 🌹 #SolidarityForever! ✊

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

THANKS to all the teachers, staff, and others for showing NC today what happens when we work together for a better life! Welcome to #1u! ✊

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 16, 2018

North Carolina #FightFor15 workers stand with NC teachers and students fighting for fair pay and adequate school funding in response to the state giving billions in tax cuts to corporations! Solidarity! ✊

— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) May 16, 2018