This year has been full of protests against conservative governors and right-leaning big city mayors who have used the economic crisis as cover to attack worker rights and slash essential services. The austerity agenda and the resulting response from the people started in Wisconsin and spread to Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, and even New York City.Now it's San Jose's turn. The mayor of the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley, Chuck Reed, has threatened to declare a fiscal state of emergency and put a pension cutting measure on the November ballot, threatening the promised pensions of thousands of city workers. Nevermind that California's Attorney General has stated that such a declaration of emergency is legally dubious.In this climate, a a large gathering of young activists camped out last night in front of City Hall to get a front row seat for today's City Council hearings on the pension cuts. Before they bedded down for the night, the activists from Next Generation Bay Area donned their zombie makeup and marched down Main Street dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
"We're dressed up as zombies because we want to represent that if the mayor and city council weaken collective bargaining in San Jose, we'll be the working dead," said Jamie Chen, a marcher. "There will be no future for young people here."
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