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Wed March 2, 2011
Teachers rally on steps of Providence City Hall
By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A crowd estimated at 1,500 gathered in front of Providence City Hall Wednesday to protest the mass firing of city teachers.
Teachers and other union members from all over Rhode Island jammed the street in front of Providence City Hall, chanting "teachers, united, will never be defeated" and demanding that Mayor Angel Taveras rescind dismissal notices sent last week to the capital city's nearly 2,000 teachers.
The mayor has said he needs the flexibility that dismissal affords to close a deficit that exceeds 20 percent of the city's budget.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers called the dismissals the - quote - "most wrongheaded thing" she has ever seen.
"Something insane is going on in Providence," says Weingarten. "I thought the only insanity was in Wisconsin, not in Rhode Island."
Eight city councilors - a majority of the city council - were on hand to support the teachers.
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