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Center Column Archives
On November 9th, over 500 students at the University of California, Santa Cruz joined various local workers' union members and Occupy Santa Cruz protesters for "Occupy Education," a protest against corporations and corruption in education. Protesters gathered at noon for a rally on the UC campus before taking to the streets. The UC Regents are meeting on November 16-17
at UCSF Mission Bay to vote on a tuition increase of 16% each year for the next four years.
On October 29, the 18th Annual Peace & Unity March was held in Watsonville. The march was organized to honor victims of gang-related violence in Watsonville and to push for an end to the violence in the community. Sandino Gómez, historian for the Watsonville Brown Berets, recounted how the march began in 1994 to honor Jessica and Jorge Cortéz, 16 and 9 years old, who were gunned down because they had witnessed a gang–related crime. Gómez emphasized that “violence is not the solution” and that everyone present “must be part of the solution”.
Disorientation Guide Collective writes
: The UC Santa Cruz Disorientation Guide is an annual student publication to incite critical thought and action through radical grassroots education. This is an introduction to the side of this school that you might have heard about but won't find in your glossy orientation materials. This guide is designed as a resource, inspiration, and catalyst for you as you discover and get involved in the creative, radical communities and projects that thrive here in Santa Cruz.
On September 22nd at UC Berkeley, between 100 and 200 students marched from a rally in front of Sproul Hall and entered Tolman Hall to protest austerity measures cutting public education throughout the state of California. Demonstrators entered the lobby of the building only to be met by police batons and pepper spray. Police claim that pepper spray was used in response to someone grabbing a magazine clip from one of the officers, but at least one witness says that these were two separate events, and that the magazine clip was only found later after a police officer dropped it. Students were able to hold room 2308 and other parts of the first floor through the afternoon and into the evening until police evicted them from the building. Two protesters were arrested and remain in jail.
On May 10th, the Santa Cruz City Council defeated a resolution supporting AB 1081, The Trust Act. The resolution would have supported opting out of the "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) program in Santa Cruz County. On May 25th, over 50 activists entered Coonerty's lecture class at UC Santa Cruz to make his support of "Secure Communities" more publicly known, and point out the contradictions in his "progressive" ideals.
In the culmination of a week of protests against proposed budget cuts to education, protesters gathered in the state capitol building in Sacramento on May 9th. Demonstrators chanted loudly and sixty-five protesters committed nonviolent civil disobedience by sitting down and refusing to leave after the building closed to the public for the day. All sixty-five were arrested and held overnight. They were kept with their hands handcuffed behind their backs for the first six hours of their detainment.
Several thousand teachers, students, and parents rallied to defend public education in San Francisco on May 13th. Many participants said that they are tired of fighting education cuts every year and are now ready to fight back. The rally was sponsored by the California Teachers Association, the Parent Teachers Association, and student groups, amongst others. Labor unions and community organizations were also represented among the diverse crowd.