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|* And what is it when a person protests Israel but ignores equivalent or worse aggression committed by other nations? What is it when a person supports the actions of those who ''are'' anti-semitic? What is it when a person ignores the fact that they are feeding into others' anti-semitism? In short, I think people can mean well, but be quite naive. --["Users/CovertProfessor"]|
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Photo Copyright California Aggie, with permission.
March 4, 2010 was originally a day of action to defend public education but involved a myriad of issues sparked by events leading up to March 4. The struggle was in solidarity with actions taking place on a state-wide, nation-wide, and international level in support of reforming education in order to improve its quality and accessibility for all. At UCD, protesters consisting mainly of students, joined at AM at and began .
Reasons for Protesting
Once the protest began, it turned into a large mob-like atmosphere. Statewide, the protest was about public education and budget cuts within the UC and CSU systems.
Major "big picture" protest issues were:
privatization of the University
lower quality of education
loss of jobs for janitors, faculty, staff, and student-workers
fee Increase: Every students' educational fee will increase 32%. Undergraduate tuition will increase $2,378 per year, going from $7,473 to * $9,811. This follows a long line of fee increases, as seen in the historic data: Upload new file "UCD student fees.xls"
In terms of educational cuts at UC Davis, the protest broadened to complaints about:
closure of the geography grad department
cuts to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: $3.8 million cut in funding for 2009-2010. It will go from $70 million to $66.2 million, a 5.2 percent decrease.
closure of Nematology
closure of Environmental Design
closure of the Textiles and Clothing division. No longer funding the department nor hiring teachers to replace those that retire. "There will be fewer TAs for discussions and laboratory courses, reduced maintenance and expansion of facilities and fewer student service and outreach funds." Aggie article
Other issues that people allegedly came out to support and protest about include:
closure of affordable and sustainable housing, specifically Davis Student Co-op
closure of the Breastfeeding Support Program
homophobia. This was sparked by vandalism done to the LGBTRC leading up to March 4.
anti-Semitism and pro-Nazism. This was sparked by a swastika drawn on the dorm-room door of a Jewish student and three swastikas spray-painted around campus.
racism. This was sparked by events at UCSD and Missouri University
Israel's aggressions on Palestine. This was sparked by UCI hosting the Israeli Ambassador to the United States.
So many reasons! How are they interconnected?
Civil Disobedience and Police Reaction
Demonstrators were forcibly barred from marching onto I-80, with less-than-lethal weapons deployed and one student arrested. The SacBee confirms that the California Highway Patrol were authorized to use less than lethal force, including pellet guns, which were used to fire a pepper ball and either rubber bullets (according to KCRA) or beanbags (according to the Aggie), hitting some people in the legs (story). The protests coincided with student protests around the country.
Early in the day on their Twitter feed, the California Aggie claimed that the California Highway Patrol was using tear gas on protesters, but has since stepped back from that claim, having contacted the UC Davis Police Department who confirmed there were no tasers or tear gas used. UCDPD did confirm that officers used pepperballs. Since then, some witnesses have defended their claims of having heard tasers, and one of those people — an Aggie photographer — took a photo that appears to show a stun gun in use. The CHP has told the Aggie that the stun gun was pointed at the protester, but never fired. An AGTV video contradicts this account, clearly showing a Taser being used in drive-stun mode.
Police and Highway Patrol Concerns
Preventing people on I-80 from being delayed by protestors.
Preventing unnecessary death or injury caused by protestors running onto the freeway.
Preventing further property damage/vandalism.
The most notable confrontation occurred when students moved toward I-80 and the police set up a line with cars and law enforcement armed with crowd control gear (photo). Fifth year student Laura Mitchell was arrested by Davis Police and Yolo County Sheriff deputies, but the SacBee is reporting that she was cited for grabbing an officer's baton and has been released with charges of resisting arrest, unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.
The protests were stopped by a line of police just short of the interstate, but similar protests in the Bay Area resulted in the closure of the 880 in Oakland. This just demonstrates once again that Davis always looks lame when trying to imitate Cal. Perhaps Davis should try to be itself and plan more Cow-themed protests in the future.
See Community Alert for the latest.
Discussion of the Goals of this protest movement.
There's also some discussion of this particular day below.
User Contributed Photos
To make it easy, these are already formatted for the wiki. Just click on a dotted underlined link and upload your image using the form that pops up
|Because the discussion has gotten somewhat off track, many of the comments have been moved over to a Controversy page. This page should be used to document the protest and related coverage. Arguments about it, both in favor and against, should be taken up in the Controversy page.|
Stories and Information on the Protest
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2010-03-04 19:47:30 I'd like to point out how much money these protests have cost the University, City, county, and state in terms of overtime, cleanup costs, and a wasted workday for many. In an era where the state is more or less bankrupt, protesting like this is not the way to help your cause in the eyes of anyone with a brain. Trying to shut down I-80? really? Just plain dumb. —ARWENNHOLD
2010-03-04 23:25:35 I'm starting a counter-protest movement to (peacefully) combat and speak out against these irrational wacko protesters. I've tentatively named the movement "the UC Loyalists" but it could be changed if anybody thinks of a better name. E-mail me at email@example.com —JamesChalmers
2010-03-05 00:20:10 This I-80 protest reminds me of when I was an anti Vietnam War student activist at Cal State LA. In 1970 after the shootings of Kent State students and at the height of student protests, some students were gathered and one male student (I still remember his name.) said, "Lets go to the Freeway." (The I-10 San Bernardino Fwy in East LA - I didn't go.) They walked there and stopped traffic for about 20 minutes if I remember correctly. It was a big news story of a questionable protest. —BruceHansen
yeah, about a million students protested after the shootings at Kent State and the death of 4 students shot in Ohio. That was a sad sad event. —JessicaRockwell
In January 2010, the Governor, in his State of the Union address, proposed a constitutional amendment that would guarantee at least 10 percent of the California budget for the University of California and California State University systems, gradually scaling back prison funding to reach that number. Awesome, right? If state voters approve the amendment, funding would begin shifting from prisons to universities as early as 2011. By 2014-15, prisons would be limited to 7 percent of the state budget. -ES
2010-03-05 08:19:12 What surprises me is that people are surprised by the I-80 thing. It makes a ton of sense - what else would give more publicity? I imagined it more like a game of chicken: the protestors hoped they'd be stopped in time, but had to carry on the bluff and the police couldn't chance it not being a bluff. There is no surer way of getting on national news and having people in every state hear of you than being the dummies who almost got on a major highway.
2010-03-05 09:27:10 I agree with the sentiment: clearly taking out our state's budget shortfalls on individual students trying to obtain higher education is problematic, however destructive protests seem counterproductive to me.
Picketing, sit ins, etc., sure, but blocking freeways and vandalizing buildings all while wearing masks doesn't help your cause. It gets you attention, sure, but it makes people think "screw these dumb kids, they're just criminals anyway". Wearing a mask sends the wrong message. The point of a protest is to visibly take a stand for something you believe in. Making yourself anonymous is an indication that you are embarrassed by or ashamed of the actions you're taking. It also sends the wrong message to the public as it makes them mentally associate you with criminality, especially when you wear what frankly looks like the kind of mask a stereotypical criminal would wear.
Getting attention is only half the battle. You need to get attention and get people on your side. —rfrazier
2010-03-05 16:25:36 to reply to rfrazier, we only put on the masks when police starting firing the pepper spray or tear gas or whatever it was that they were using. —ashiggins
2010-03-06 09:06:17 Its funny that anti-semitism and Israeli aggression are both listed in the reasons for protesting section. —jefftolentino
Anti-Semitism is being against a person because they are Jewish while being against Israel's aggression to Palestine means being against a government policy that has created the oldest refugee crisis going on today. Just as there are Jewish and Israeli people who oppose the Israeli government's egregious behavior towards Palestine, there are people who are not Jewish that are also against Israel's gov while supporting people's right to be Jewish. —JessicaRockwell
And what is it when a person protests Israel but ignores equivalent or worse aggression committed by other nations? What is it when a person supports the actions of those who are anti-semitic? What is it when a person ignores the fact that they are feeding into others' anti-semitism? In short, I think people can mean well, but be quite naive. —CovertProfessor
And there are also people who are not Jewish or Palestinian, but support Israel's right to be a sovereign nation. —JoePomidor
2010-03-06 11:19:42 I thought it was a public education protest. —TomGarberson
2010-03-06 11:28:51 No, it was a protest for anything that was bothering you at the time. —ScottMeehleib
Your Taco Bell joke made me laugh a lot, that was pretty funny. -ES
Hahaha yeah, I cracked up when I saw that. Too bad it didn't last a little longer! -tg
2010-03-06 11:35:27 Me too. I'm particularly confused about how things like protesting Israeli politics or the size of the Taco Bell waiting area are related to education funding.
IDNE, I think the Taco Bell thing was Scott's parody of the inclusion of completely unrelated stuff. -tg
Ahh...you're right. It fit in so well though! :-) —IDoNotExist
I would imagine that some protesters might be rather unhappy to learn that their protest for one goal had been hijacked to protest completely unrelated causes that they might strongly disagree with. It's a bit like writing a letter and signing your name, then having someone else come along and add a new sentence to the letter that you are opposed to, and signing their name too, so now it looks like you support *their* cause.
On the other hand...perhaps you could show up at a random protest with a sign suggesting that everyone place all of their money in your bank account. Since being present and taking *some* position apparently implies that the group is protesting in support of your particular position, maybe that will pay for your retirement! —IDoNotExist
I'm reminded somewhat of a rally that took place my freshman year here, probably in Spring '03. I lived in Tercero B Building, and right outside, at Casa Cuauhtémoc, there was a rally about racism and racial inequality in education and that kinda stuff. I thought it was kinda cool, and watched for a while out of the balcony at the east side of the building. They had several excellent speakers. But within about an hour or so, someone got on the bullhorn or microphone and started a chant of "KILL THE WHITEY" that went on for a good 5 or 10 minutes before people finally settled down. The lesson I learned from that is you can have a really well-intentioned group that gets together and turns into a group of raving idiots because one lone rabble rouser with a microphone triggers a mob mentality and turns their goals to shit, making their movement 100% counterproductive. Like that event, I found Thursday's protest to begin with a good message, but by the end of the day, it became obnoxious and counterproductive with no positive contribution to the movement's goals. I hope for the sake of the protesters that it was at least cathartic. —TomGarberson
I've heard people talking about the protest all over Davis for the past few days. Most people are focusing on the I-80 event, rather than the intended message about funding for higher education, which was the intent of the protest. (You can see that reflected here on the Wiki too.) That's really sad, because they had an important message to get out, but the message is being lost in the discussion about the wisdom (or lack thereof) in trying to walk onto an active major Interstate. —IDoNotExist
And here is what this professor would recommend, to counteract this phenomenon: Students should write into the Davis Enterprise and tell their stories. Briefly explain how these program cuts and tuition increases have and will impact you personally, and how they delay or make difficult your life goals. Get the community refocused on the issues, and let them know that there are serious impacts. Because you can bet all the the other letters to the editor will be complaints about the protest and the whiny students. —CovertProfessor
2010-03-06 14:26:53 Someone pulled fire alarms in lab buildings. It did not impress students or professors who have time sensitive materials and lose a week's worth of work because of a false alarm.
Way to alienate a potential support base protesters. —OliviaY