University students across the United States are set to walk out of classrooms to protest against mounting college loan debt and rally for tuition-free public universities and an increase in the minimum wage for campus workers.
Thursday’s protests, dubbed the Million Student March, are expected to draw thousands of students from about 100 US colleges.
Protest organizers are demanding the cancellation of all student debt and free public universities, as well as a $15-an-hour minimum wage for campus employees.
“Education should be free. The United States is the richest country in the world, yet students have to take on crippling debt in order to get a college education,” the movement’s organizers said in a statement on their website.
“This is clearly an urgent crisis, but establishment politicians from both parties are failing to take action,” their statement said.
The total amount of unpaid US student loan debt has more than doubled from $600 billion to $1.2 trillion since 2006, according to the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.