Friday, March 4, 2011

March 2nd Day of Action in Review

At UC Berkeley, 9 protesters chained themselves together on the ledge of the roof of Wheeler Hall as part of the March 2nd National Day of Action for Public Education. The activists were demanding that recent tuition hikes be repealed. They also demanded rollbacks of the 32% fee hike implemented in 2009 and an end to police repression of protesters. Their action followed the arrest of 17 students who had occupied Wheeler Hall the night before. The activists eventually came down from the roof after the administration agreed to allow them to meet with the chancellor and offered probation to those arrested rather than jail, fines or expulsion.

At UC Santa Cruz, students rallied on campus on March 2nd with many staging a sit-in to protest budget cuts. The sit-in lasted over night. The protesters demanded a moratorium on cuts to academic divisions, library or other instructional services; an end to wage and benefits cuts to employees; the re-opening of daycare facilities for students and staff; a 32% cut to administrators’ salaries; and no disciplinary actions against student activists. They also demanded that administration work with them to create an Ethnic Studies Department and Major, something they’ve been fighting for since 1981.

In a related protest on the UCSC campus, about 500 students spelled out the words FREE EDUCATION with their naked bodies on an athletic field.

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