Protesters Pan Council For Waiving Budget Hearing

The Coalition to Save the Libraries, which rallied last year to stop Mayor Nutter's plan to close some branches, just wrapped up a protest outside of City Council's chambers on City Hall's fourth floor.  The group, which included about 35 people, is angry that Council waived its power to hold a hearing and vote on Nutter's fallback budget, which would cut 3,000 city jobs and many services unless the state General Assembly approves legislation needed to balance the city's five-year financial plan.

"This is about as much public and as much hearing as we're going to get," said the Rev. Jesse Brown, a former candidate for state representative and City Council, who led the protest.

While the group complained about the usual topics, including budget cuts that have already been made to deal with the city's fiscal crisis, the protest also diverted at times onto different topics, including the health care debate and tax incentives to lure businesses to the city.  And of course the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement -- two members were arrested in March during Nutter's budget address to Council -- was there with its large banner that accuses the mayor of running a "$$ billion war on the African-American community."