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Indybay Feature

End Worker Intimidation at UC Santa Cruz

Thursday, April 03, 2014
5:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Base of UCSC Campus
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, California 95064

Picket 5:30am and Rally 10am base of campus

Here's what happened at the strike today according to local union reps:

The administration strategically chose to escalate our peaceful, lawful picket. Riot police were imported from UC Berkeley prior to the demonstrations. The Berkeley police are known for their willingness to physically assault both students and faculty at peaceful demonstrations. Wearing riot helmets and batons, and resting their hands on their weapons, police used conflicting messages to create confusion about what demonstrators could do to avoid arrest. First, police blocked both entrances to the crosswalk; then they said we could be in the crosswalk only when the “walk” sign was on, and then proceed to shut it off. Some officers then said that we couldn’t picket on the sidewalk or grass near the west entrance even after people had moved off of the street. The details of where people could be were not clear in any dispersal order. This mixed messaging was clearly part of a tactic to stop legal, peaceful picket by instilling fear among demonstrators that they might be arrested at any time merely by being in the vicinity of the protest.

The administration deprived UAW members of our legal right to picket. Shortly after union members and undergraduate allies gathered at the western entrance, they were confronted by riot police. A union leader was specifically targeted after communicating to administrators that the picket was about to begin. He introduced himself to Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway, and informed her that he was going to be exercising his right to picket, but that he would not be standing in front of cars or blocking traffic. Shortly after this encounter, he was tackled to the ground by police and arrested, along with a photographer who was documenting the incident. He had clearly stated that he was not going to block any cars, and he would be walking in the crosswalk. We have video footage of this arrest. You can watch clips of it here: Riot cops then proceeded to arrest 18 more students and union members.

Students are now entangled in the legal system. As of 6pm, all of the arrested demonstrators have been released. Their court date is set for May 6, 8:15am, in SC Superior Court. We are in contact with National Lawyers Guild Bay Area and Monterey, and we should have details on our legal representation by Monday.

We need to come out and show the university that worker intimidation is not ok. Let’s stand together tomorrow and demand that the UC administration stop intimidating students and workers.
Added to the calendar on Wed, Apr 2, 2014 11:06PM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Watch as Union Leader Josh Brahinsky is arrested as he complies with police requests and walks away from the police back towards the sidewalk, along with a photographer who was documenting the incident.
§In Solidarity with UAW and the #UCSC20
by solidarity
Hi all! We are undergraduates at UCSC and we along with other students from across the state are striking, tomorrow, April 3rd, in solidarity with the TA and GSI union, UAW Local 2865, who are demonstrating in opposition to unfair labor practices and worker intimidation. We would like to invite you and others to show support by creating, posting, and sharing your own strike pledge across any and all social media platforms.

As undergraduates we understand that our learning conditions are the graduate students working conditions and when they advocate for a fair contract, they are advocating to improve the conditions of our education. We stand in solidarity with UAW 2865 and support their demands for equal access for all undocumented workers, smaller class sizes, gender neutral bathrooms, childcare, and to be paid a livable wage. We also stand in solidarity with the 20 student workers arrested today and demand that all charges be dropped.

In supporting the TA's demands for smaller class sizes and better childcare, we as undergrads are advocating for a more personal, intimate, and developmental education by way of reducing an unrealistic workload and creating a support system for educators and their families.

In supporting the TA's demands for better leave policies and to close the $3-5,000 wage gap between UCSC and rival institutions we are saying to the administration that our educators deserve a fair and livable wage and a work environment that respects their mental and physical health needs as well as their obligations to family.

In supporting the TA's demands for more opportunities for undocumented students we are not only saying to the university but also the entire nation that everyone, regardless of status, deserves an education and a dignified means to sustain their own livelihood.

In supporting the TA's demands for the UC to improve on discrimination issues like breastfeeding in public and the creation of gender neutral bathrooms we are saying to the administration that we are and have been ready for a more inclusive and diverse campus environment since its creation.

Striking tomorrow after today's instance of police terrorism is a statement to the administration and the police that we will not be intimidated by their willingness to inflict violence upon us and that we stand together with the #UCSC20 and with anyone else struggling for access to education and just and fair work.

The struggle of the workers and graduate students is the struggle of the undergrad students. We invite you to join us on the picket line starting 5:30 am tomorrow at both the Main and West entrance and also to join us for the "Drop the Charges Rally" at 10am.
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