Albany pep rally before the rally is ‘mobbed’

Update: Photo Gallery

Update 3:24 p.m. SUNY student assembly is leading chants of “Stop the Cuts” and “No tuition hikes.”

3:15 p.m. Nancy Zimpher is speaking. She calls for a national tuition policy.

3:10 p.m A group of downstate students have to catch their bus. They are chanting. “We’ll be back. We’ll be back” as they leave.

3:06 p.m. When Barbara Bowen tells the crowd “These budget cuts are not an inevitability. It’s a choice,” chanting starts again.

3:05 p.m. “Hey ho, Hey ho, These budget cuts have got to go.” Barbara Bowen is about to speak.

2:30 p.m. Crowd is filling in. At about 250 people

Update 11:56 a.m. Chant is “Fight, fight, fight, fight. Education is our right.”

Update 11:44 a.m. Andrew is texting now because it’s too loud. “The crowd was noisy in the concourse. For a town used to lobbying, office workers, shop owners and patrons are running out to see who was chanting.” (I text back- “what’s the chant?”)

Update 11:38 a.m. Andrew calls that a spirited crowd of  about 400 is making its way toward the Capitol. They are chanting in the security lines. We got cut off before I could find out the chant.

First post 10:30 a.m. Just got a call from Andrew Watson, who is taking photos at the Albany rally.

“It’s mobbed here and we’re running late,” he said.

“How mobbed and how late?”

“It’s so mobbed that Barbara just came to help check people in and we haven’t started yet,” he says.

Barbara is Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen. The pep rally to students was supposed to start about 10 a.m. and it was 10:24 when he called.

“They’ve got 11 a.m. appointments I don’t think they are going to make,” Andrew said.

I tell him to take pictures of the security lines when the students get there. This sounds like a good turnout for the rally which is supposed to start at 2:30 p.m. on the west side of the Capitol.

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