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San Francisco | Anti-War | Education & Student Activism | Immigrant Rights | Labor & Workers

San Francisco State Students Walk Out, Join Workers on May Day
by Carrie Lee ( sfsuwalkout [at] gmail.com )
Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM
Over 600 San Francisco State University students walked out of their classes and blocked traffic May 1st to protest further cuts to California's education system. After the walk out students joined the May 1st march in Dolores Park marching with thousands of people. Earlier in the morning students from the Student Worker Action Network joined the ILWU in solidarity by participating in a community picket line at the Port of Oakland. The students protested a proposed increase to next semester's fee increase, which is an increase of 113 percent since 2002. The proposed increase of student fees are a part of a $14.65 million cut to next year's SFSU budget and part of a larger $4.8 billion budget cut to California's education system. As a result essential services will have to be cut, people will lose their jobs, students will have fewer classes and be forced to pay more for less.

Over 600 San Francisco State University students walked out of their classes and blocked traffic May 1st to protest further cuts to California's education system. After the walk out students joined the May 1st march in Dolores Park marching with thousands of people. The students protested a proposed increase to next semester's fee increase, which is an increase of 113 percent since 2002. The proposed increase of student fees are a part of a $14.65 million cut to next year's SFSU budget and part of a larger $4.8 billion budget cut to California's education system. As a result essential services will have to be cut, people will lose their jobs, students will have fewer classes and be forced to pay more for less.

Students, concerned about the fate of higher education, have organized on campus at San Francisco State to address the lack of resources that will be made available to them. These cuts mean the equivalent of 100 full time teachers will no longer be returning and up to one third of all Ethnic Studies classes will be cut among many other classes. Groups on campus, such as the Fight the Fees campaign and the New Front Coalition, have led a series of teach-ins and rally this past semester to educate students. This included a march to Sacramento in an attempt to sway California's legislators. The students have participated in direct action on International Workers day to ally themselves with the workers on campus and to show solidarity with a broad worker-led movement on May 1st.

Earlier in the morning at about 5:30 AM a group of San Francisco State students, which are a part of the Student Worker Action Network, joined the community picket line at the Oakland docks to shut down the railroads in solidarity with the striking dock worker's shut down of the west coast ports to demand an end to the war. Students back at campus proceeded to walk out of classes and into the streets. Around noon a rally at Malcolm X Plaza was held and honored the rich legacy of activism on campus which was the historic setting of the longest strike in the history of any University in the U.S.

As students began to gather around the Malcolm X plaza many of them began to shout "Walk out at SF State, shut it down like '68," among many other chants. In displaying solidarity with Immigrants rights many of the students shouted in spanish, "Ningun Ser Humano es Ilegal" and "No borders, no walls, Education should be free for all." As students approached 19th Avenue the amount of students completely blocked off traffic on both sides of the street. While many of the students began to wait for the Muni to join the immigrants rights demonstration in Dolores Park several students chose to stay in the streets to voice their concern at the budget cuts. Students blocked the street for half an hour in which during this time they played drums, danced, and wrote chalk all over the street.

Students marched to the immigrants rights demonstration in Dolores Park afterwards from the Church Muni Stop. Felipe Rivera, a junior currently at San Francisco State, commented "The budget cuts demonstrate that this campus is not run in the interest of its workers or students. Together we need to democratize our workplaces and our educational setting. Students and workers need to work together to fight the budget cuts." While the government funds a war during an economic crisis, builds more prisons, students yelled "No cuts, no fees, education should be free!" Krystal Triggs, a junior at San Francisco State said, "We are told when we're young that we have to get an education to make it in the world. What we didn't know is that we have to fight for the education. We are not victims anymore." The budget cuts and fee increases will have a negative impact on faculty, students and workers. The walk outs, as some students expect difficulty in graduating and registering for classes, will demonstrate that on International Workers Day it was possible for students and workers to work together in a struggle that affects all working people.
§Not Your Soldier
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Direct Action to Stop the War and Student Worker Action Network
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Stopping Trucks
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§All Workers United
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Trucks Stopped, Reporter Walking
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Cops
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§End War, End Empire
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Taking the Streets
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Banner Drop
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Malcolm X plaza
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Students and Workers Unite
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Free Education
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Marching to the Streets
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Dancing
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Blocking Traffic
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Waiting for Muni
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Cop with flower
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§Blocked Traffic
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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§May 1st March from Dolores Park
by Carrie Lee Friday May 2nd, 2008 8:17 PM

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The education cuts are a result of prison building and harsh lawsStephanieFriday May 2nd, 2008 11:09 PM