March 4, 2010 Public Education protest


version 158 (2010-03-06 15:43:51 by JessicaRockwell)
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    * I see the context just fine. And I agree with JT that there is an irony about a protest that is against anti-semitism and Israeli aggression both. I'm not saying that everyone who protests Israel's actions is an anti-semite. But I am saying that there are definite links between protesting Israel's action and anti-semitism more broadly, and anyone who overlooks this links is naive. --["Users/CovertProfessor"]
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protests_ca_aggie_stungun.jpgPhoto Copyright [WWW]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 .

  1. Reasons for Protesting
  2. So Many Reasons! How Are They Interconnected?
  3. Civil Disobedience and Police Reaction
  4. Police and Highway Patrol Concerns
  5. I-80 Confrontation
  6. Aftermath
  7. Discussion of the Protest
  8. Related Pages
  9. Footage
  10. User Contributed Photos

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:

In terms of educational cuts at UC Davis, the protest broadened to complaints about:

Other issues that people allegedly came out to support and protest about include:

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 ([WWW]story). The protests coincided with [WWW]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 [wikipedia]pepperballs. Since then, some witnesses have defended their claims of having heard tasers, and one of those people — an Aggie photographer — took a [WWW]photo that appears to show a stun gun in use. The [WWW]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.

Fire alarms were pulled repeatedly all over campus throughout the day. Graffiti like "Defend Public Education" was spray painted on campus buildings.

Police and Highway Patrol Concerns

I-80 Confrontation

The most notable confrontation occurred when [WWW]students moved toward I-80 and the police set up a line with cars and law enforcement armed with crowd control gear ([WWW]photo). Fifth year student Laura Mitchell [WWW]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.


Discussion of the Protest

Discussion of the Goals of this protest movement.
There's also some discussion of this particular day below.

Related Pages



User Contributed Photos

photo001.jpgProtesters by I-80, after Laura Mitchell's arrest. —JeremyKoo

photo002.jpgASUCD President-elect Jack Zwald brings water to the protesters. —JeremyKoo photo003.jpgSit-in at Russell Blvd and Anderson/La Rue. —JeremyKoo

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photo010.jpg photo011.jpg Upload new image "photo012.jpg"

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 jameschalmers84@yahoo.comJamesChalmers

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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