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Indybay Feature
96 Hours of Action Concludes at UCSC with Successful Campus Shut Down
by Alex Darocy (alex [at] alexdarocy.com)
Saturday Mar 7th, 2015 3:49 PM
Students at UC Santa Cruz concluded four days of protests against tuition and fee increases with a campus-wide strike and shut down. Dubbed "96 Hours of Action," the series of demonstrations were also organized to address issues of mass incarceration and the expanding police state. At 4:30am on March 5, picket lines were established at the West Entrance and at the corner of Hagar and Coolidge, and a majority of the cars attempting to enter the school were turned away. At around 7am, the UCSC administration announced that faculty, staff, and students should not attempt to enter campus. The strike triggered the shut down of both main libraries on campus, as well as the book store, the express store, and most of the dining halls. Students reported their classes had been canceled by professors, and the school appeared as it does on the weekend, with only a few cafes open. [Top photo: Linking arms across the West Entrance of UCSC. Scroll down for more photos.]
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The very first students to arrive at the West Entrance were not exactly sure how to proceed. Some were carrying protest signs. They arrived in small groups, and after a short discussion, they decided to stand in the crosswalk, link arms, and block the entrance while waiting for more people. There were more than enough students to fill up the physical space that stretches across the road. A few minutes later, several student organizers arrived with food and beverages, more protest signs, megaphones, and the larger banners that students held all day.

There were some categories of drivers who were allowed to enter campus. When approaching the picket line in their cars, Health Services staff members presented their work identification cards and showed flyers printed up with large crosses and the statement "PLEASE ALLOW TO PASS." Likewise, those living in student family housing were admitted to campus quickly when presenting their identification.

Many requests to enter campus were put to a vote by those on the picket line. Some of those who were allowed to enter after a vote included a student bringing their friend medication for pneumonia, a man who was over 90 who couldn't walk inside, a student who rented a Zipcar who said he would be charged an additional $50 dollars if he didn't get on campus to return the vehicle, and the wife and children of the Crown Provost.

Students eventually voted to concluded the shut down at 5pm and march to the base of campus. Those blocking the West side of the school were met by those blocking the East side, and together they stood across High Street to watch a performance by the cast of "The Congressladies," who had canceled their performance scheduled on campus for that evening to honor the strike.

After the performance concluded, and evening fell, the group of demonstrators dispersed with some encouragement from Sgt. Bush of the Santa Cruz Police Department.

There were about a dozen various police officers, including UCSC Chief of Police Nader Oweis, on scene at the base of campus near the end of the shut down. Although there were literally scores of University of California riot police ready and waiting who had been brought in from the Bay Area for the week, they were never deployed, and all day there was only a minimal police presence anywhere near the picket lines.

Student protests have been held continuously at UCSC since November of 2014, when the University of California Regents voted to increase tuition by more than 25% over the next five years.

Organizers described the purpose of the 96 Hours of Action in an event announcement:

"This is a call to action for students of all Universities, Community Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools past, present, and future to stand up for free public education and shut down the racist, classist, corporate, militarized police state. The same people benefiting from racial oppression are the same people benefiting from education debts. The state of California is failing its people by investing in police and prisons instead of public education. It's time to reject this assault on our communities and stand together for education and the end of police violence.

"Stand with your California's students to demand a free, non-oppressive, non-corporate education. We call upon your collective voices and bodies to end this state-sponsored violence against black and brown individuals, end this war against low-income communities, shut down the school-to-prison pipeline, and prioritize PEOPLE OVER PROFITS! STUDENTS OVER SUITS!"


For more information about "96 Hours of Action" and other student organizing at UC Santa Cruz, see:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Liberate-our-Education/1539062579666638


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/
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§Sunrise
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§Blocking Coolidge Drive
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§The corner of Hagar and Coolidge
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§A PICA student speaks
by Alex Darocy Saturday Mar 7th, 2015 3:58 PM
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Vegan food was offered by PICA.

PICA is the Program in Community and Agroecology
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§Marching to the base of campus from the West Entrance
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§Cast members from "The Congressladies"
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by All The Way to the Bank
Saturday Mar 7th, 2015 7:19 PM
The UC Administration is laughing all the way to the bank as they did not have to teach you anything on March 5 but they got your money already! If you want to stop their profiteering school at the rich folks' finishing known as the University of California, you have to stop going there completely! If you went into debt to go to school, cut your losses, quit now and go to work so that you have a PAYCHECK, with all the benefits that we all receive from a paycheck, including but not limited to a steady income and you can pay off your debt, or if you have no debt, you can save for emergency needs and retirement, and in either case, sleep much better than anyone in debt. Everything from restaurants and hotels to the post office and FedEx are hiring. And everyone from truck drivers to secretaries to banquet waiters can make lots of money. As to participants in this show business scene, in a very remote, almost pastoral area that has no relationship to the reality of most of us, UC Santa Cruz has 17,000 students but there does not appear to be anything near that number in these photos. These knowledge factories, as Mario Savio charitably called them in 1964 at UC Berkeley's Free Speech Movement as they impart less knowledge and more lies, will only wake up to the call for no tuition/fees when they can no longer receive same. We have seen YEARS of these kinds of demonstrations and they have achieved nothing. You have to stop their profiteering, and that means you have to stop paying these fees with loans. If you have the money, please be sure to major in a subject for which your degree will get you a decent paycheck upon graduation as you will need that all of your life. What we all have, we can thank labor for: Our paycheck, our 40 hour workweek, our 8 hour workday, our weekend, our healthcare benefits of any kind, our public schools, Social Security disability & Retirement, Workers' Compensation, unemployment insurance, holidays, sick pay, vacation pay, non-discrimination clauses as to race, gender, sexual orientation and religion in the union contracts and by law and most importantly, the right to organize into labor unions. The union contract for the workers at these campuses must state that no tuition can be charged at these schools. Our problems in this society come from having no labor movement.
by and fuck paying rent too
Sunday Mar 8th, 2015 10:32 PM
true the university already has the tuition money, but the publicity of the protests may lead some parents to choose another university for their child's education next year.

the university can't ignore this and the blocking of the freeways can't be ignored either.

i hear it is $1000 a person for 3 people in a one bedroom on campus. fuck that. a protest project to help people move out of that kind of ripoff housing and into anarchist collective housing would cost the university money while saving the students money at the same time.
by Darin
Thursday Mar 12th, 2015 4:55 PM
I want to congratulate the UC Santa Cruz revolutionaries on a well fought battle!!! Your post especially articulates the lack of action at UCB currently. Although hopes here in the east bay are intermittent, you have pulled off what was only imaginable in the 1990s, when I was closer in age to your demographic parameter! I cannot say that it is unbelieveable knowing your history of civil disobedience. While Revolution Today accounts police gunshot victims, and the idea of further police retaliation seems immenent there, although I am late to respond to this post, I hope that your accountability and visibility (transparency,)[especialy personal to me as a protest photography documentor, again in view of your photos,] inspires those beyond your immediate vicinity also. Peace be with you!
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