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Education & Student Activism News

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New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
UPDATE: On April 15, UC Davis students ended their sit-in, saying they had accomplished their goal of bringing attention to the need to fire Katehi. On April 27, Katehi was placed on leave while the university investigates her misconduct.

Students at UC Davis have been occupying Chancellor Linda Katehi's office and holding tight since Friday, March 11, demanding that Katehi resign or be fired. Administrators escalated their response with threats of suspension and even expulsion if occupiers do not vacate the building. Demonstrators are also calling for the hiring process to be redesigned "so that UC Davis students and workers are not only a part of this process, but a major deciding body in the selection and confirmation of a new Chancellor."
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.
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.
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 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.
Wed Jun 24 2015 (Updated 11/08/15)
UCSC Highway Six Back in Court on June 29 & 30
The six UCSC students charged in association with the March 3 blockade of Highway 17, where it meets Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, will be back in court on Monday, June 29 and Tuesday, June 30. On June 29 at 10:00am, there will be a hearing in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to finalize their sentence, and on June 30 at 1:30pm there will be a restitution hearing. The students are calling for court support.
On June 1 the Lecturer's labor contract at UC Santa Cruz expired, and union members with American Federation of Teachers Local 2199 and their supporters marked the day by picketing — and picnicking — at the base of campus. Messages in support of adjunct-faculty members and a more democratized University of California system were displayed as individuals held several large, colorful puppets. Food was served, and the day-long event was dubbed "St. Precaria's Picnic."
Students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Stevenson Coffee House for a short period of time on April 27 to expose a person they say is a known rapist who is presently employed at the business. The small cafe, which is privately owned and operated under a lease with the university, is located within Stevenson College on the east side of the UCSC campus.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Cabrillo College Foundation bankrolling Yes on Q campaign Bruce Holloway (1 comment) Thursday May 26th 9:57 AM
Union officials suppress member support for BDS via Palestine Legal Wednesday May 25th 3:37 PM
Strawberry and Justice Festival May 19 2016 AutumnSun Friday May 20th 7:53 PM
New Reports: Latino children bear greatest burden of pesticide risk in California via Californians for Pesticide Reform Monday May 16th 2:14 PM
Big Nazi on Campus: How Racists Rallied at UC Berkeley with Police Protection reposted from itsgoingdown.org (5 comments) Sunday May 15th 1:02 PM
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USDA Unviels New 'Urban Agriculture Toolkit' for Agriculture Entrepreneurs Khubaka, Michael Harris Friday Apr 29th 10:56 PM
The War on Truth Anthony Ravlich Tuesday Apr 26th 7:24 AM
UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet Repost from Sac Bee Thursday Apr 14th 12:17 PM
Charters, Gulen And Education Privatization With Sharon Higgins Labor Video Project Tuesday Mar 15th 10:18 AM
Napolitano attempts secret surveillance at UC IndyRadio/David Roknich Monday Feb 1st 10:51 PM
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