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Teacher Arrested After Calling Out Washington Legislators Over Budget Cuts

Teachers were out in force defending their students' right to an education. (Photo credit: Press TV)

On Monday, thousands of Washington state 99 Percenters took to their state capitol to demand a balanced approach to reducing the state’s budget deficit. The rally that took place there is part of a long string of actions that activists plan to try to defend main street priorities like education funding.

During one particularly contentious moment, a group of educators invaded a meeting of a state legislative meeting, holding a mock “citizens’ arrest” of legislators for planning to cut education funding in defiance of the spirit of a February ruling of King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick, ruled that the state was failing to meet its funding obligations. Watch the disruption, led by teacher Jesse Hagopian:

Hagopian was arrested following the disruption. He later released this statement: “I was arrested today at the capitol for protesting against the budget cuts. Still no bankers in jail, but they have arrested teachers trying to get money for the schools. And as we pointed out, it is the Washington State Legislature that is breaking the law by failing their constitutional duty to fully fund education. Anyway, I’m out now and back to school tomorrow! They can’t jail an idea whose time has come!

As a reminder, few financial executives whose fraud and other misdeeds caused the recession have been arrested. Yet teachers angrily protesting the budget cuts resulting from the recession, along with other protesters nationwide, are being arrested on a regular basis.