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A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz
Every year on April 20, folks gather around North America to celebrate and smoke. UC Santa Cruz has historically had one of the largest gatherings around, a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts, spurred on by UCSC's unique cultural history and the occassional spotlights from outside (like Rolling Stone Magazine a few years ago). Its a big community event - a place where thousands of people can bring a bunch of friends, musical instruments, frisbees, you name it, and just have fun. It's in a safe and relatively secluded location (Porter Meadow) and problems are rare.
Measure K, passed by 64% of Santa Cruz voters in the November 2006 elections, makes enforcement of state and federal laws pertaining to the distribution, sale, cultivation or use of marijuana by adults their lowest law enforcement priority. Even though students vote in City elections, the University of California is exempt from local measures.
Unlike the last two years, there were a few folks holding up signs trying to connect up 420 activities with decriminalization/legalization. While smoking is itself an act of civil disobedience - breaking an unjust law - getting folks to connect up their individual actions with a long-term movement is an ongoing process.
I imagine this was put up as a reaction to the police presence earlier in the day.
"Any violation of campus policy.." etc.
While administrators claim the flyers, now passed out at any protest or other events they don't control, is to 'inform people of their right to protest,' the purpose is to intimidate folks by listing all the arbitrary things that they can be charged with. Compare this to the flyer I posted at the bottom of this article:
Administrative Paranoia Taking Its Toll at UCSC
Luckily, students took it upon themselves to ensure that administrators and police didn't interfer with a long-time UCSC tradition.
Students filled a few posters with messages for those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy. They're planning on mailing them.
The other side of his sign says, "Reform Now". Both he and the other guy pictured with the sign roamed around the crowd for a few hours.
There were about a dozen different folks selling various food items. It was all really cheap - like this guy selling water for $1. The students weren't making much money at all (especially if you think about how much sports stadiums charge for food) - mostly just providing a service to their peers and keeping them from being dehydrated.
This path looks like a bunch of ants marching. At the start, everyone is coming towards the meadow. In the middle, the traffic is both ways, and at the end, everyone is going back towards the bus stops and other colleges.
These guys stood by their truck for a few hours. They said they were having a good time - no problems.
This RA at Porter College was nice enough to cook everyone up a free BBQ! A big sense of community and a good place to be on 420!
Admins regrouping after the day's festivities.
There's 13 of 'em in this picture. Using very conservative numbers, if each of them gets paid $60,000/yr, works 48 wks a year at 40 hours/wk, they would get paid apprx. $31 per hour each. Let's say, and this is probably a low estimate, that they spent 3 hours unneccessarily observing and interfering with 420 activities. That's approximately $1200 of our money wasted. And that's not even including the wages of the UCPD, the Fire Dept., or the work that administrators could have and should have been working on instead of observing protests.. like improving our education.
At least its not the estimated $30,000 it costs every time they bring UC Berkeley or UCLA police up to Santa Cruz to deal with protests...