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Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
A letter of support for Indybay's Alex Darocy was approved by unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California Santa Cruz County Chapter. Darocy still faces a misdemeanor charge after being cited in March of 2015 by a CHP officer after photographing the six UCSC students who locked themselves together and blocked Highway 1 as part of the “96 Hours of Action” protests against police violence and tuition hikes.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
On November 12 students at UC Santa Cruz joined students at college campuses across the country for a "Million Student March," a day of local actions organized nationally around three principle demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Million Student March actions were organized at over 100 schools.
Sat Nov 14 2015 (Updated 11/16/15)
Battle to Save CCSF Continues
Students, teachers, supporters, plus many others marched from CCSF’s Mission campus to the Civic Center campus over the pending downsizing of City College on November 12. Faculty union AFT 2121, which represents 1500 faculty at CCSF announced they authorized a one-day strike in response to unfair labor practices at City College. A picket to support CCSF faculty in contract negotiations has been called for November 18.
On March 3, six UCSC students blocked California Highway 1 using lockboxes and garbage cans filled with concrete. Independent journalist Alex Darocy, long-time Indybay contributor and editorial collective member, shot several photographs of the student demonstrators from his car as he passed the blockade, and for that he is currently being prosecuted, facing the possibility of jail time. A Motion to Dismiss, which argued that the prosecution is attempting to criminalize and chill conduct that is protected under the First Amendment, was heard on November 13. Judge Paul Burdick denied the motion and set a trial date for February 22, 2016.
On September 17, the first move-in day for Fall quarter at UC Santa Cruz, students and community members at the main entrance of campus displayed signs opposing Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 (SCR 35), which was introduced this year in the California Senate. On its surface SCR 35 is legislation that addresses anti-Semitism on the University of California campuses, but critics caution the measure has the potential to limit the free speech activities of those seeking justice for Palestine.