Chanting "No ifs! No buts! No education cuts!" and "Whose state? Our state!" about 30 college students marched to Gov. Rick Scott's office on Wednesday to protest tuition increases, cuts to Bright Futures and the state budget in general. They demanded to see the governor, but were told to call his scheduling office to make an appointment. They dropped broken pencils to symbolize the broken education system on the receptionists desk and said they would wait there until they could speak to the governor or his staff. After about an hour, they left.
"It's an all-out assault!" University of Florida senior Dustin Pender shouted through a megaphone before the students entered the Capitol. "It's class warfare that Rick Scott is perpetrating! That the Chamber of Commerce is perpretating!"
They pledged to join unions, immigration advocates and other students to organize '60s style protests.
As he waited outside the governor's office, Jamaal Rose, a political science major at Florida A&M University, said he wants to encourage the governor to abandon his push for corporate tax cuts and sue BP.
"Most importantly do not attack our funding for education," Rose says. "If he was able to stabilize the corporate loopholes, that would put money back in education."
Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, stopped by to greet the students.
"Some of our greatest initiatives have been student led. I'm hopeful the governor will get the opportunity to hear some of the concerns they have," he said. "Obviously the cuts to state higher education and other things that are very important, he's going to have the final say, so hopefully he'll listen to them."