Occupy rallies against student debt
The Occupy movement in Elmira and Corning is certainly nowhere as big as it is on Wall Street, but their limited numbers don't stop members from making their voices heard. As our Bill Mich tells us, Tuesday, rallies were held at both Corning Community College and Centerway Square in the city's downtown to draw attention to the issue of student debt.
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CORNING, N.Y. -- As politicians in Washington debate over whether or not the student loan interest rate should remain at 3.4 percent, local college students are making their voices heard on the issue.
"We do think that our tax dollars need to go towards our education and not tax cuts because that's our money, it shouldn't' be taken from us to give to some guy who says he is going to create jobs," said rally organizer Paolo Cremidis.
Tuesday morning, students at Corning Community College walked out of class and held a rally in the middle of campus, and then later in Centerway Square, hoping to draw attention to the issue of student debt. Politicians are pushing to freeze the current student loan interest rate, rather than have it double taking it to 6.8%, making college even more expensive. And the voices of these students are being heard, at least locally, as Democratic candidate for Congress Nate Shinagawa and Green Party Candidate for Senate, Colia Clark both spoke at the rally.
"We should keep it at 3.4% or even lower for students and we should pay for that by making sure that corporations and the very wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes," said Shinagawa.
And while holding a rally raises awareness for the issues, protestors understand that if they want to make a difference, they will have to taken action into their own hands.
"Going out and pressuring the Congressman, pressuring your senators, any government officials really. Just making your voice heard, getting out to vote. All those things are important if we are to be a successful democracy," said CCC Sophomore Jackson Merrill.
"Show up at the polls. Vote out the people that are going to destroy our nation," Cremidis said
And they will have that chance come November.