Hundreds gathered for the Nov. 17 Rally in downtown SF, which was followed by a march through the financial district in which protesters stopped at several Regents’ offices to invite them to join students and workers in demanding California Refund education. See coverage:
In related news, OccupyCal continues to find new and creative ways to occupy Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. See coverage:
But police responses to Occupy Davis continued the troubling trend of disproportionate violence against peaceful protesters. In the video below, UCD cops mercilessly target protesters with pepper spray aimed directly in their faces and into open mouths. Protesters respond by peacefully asking police to leave. Be sure to watch the video to the end:
The response of UCD administrators to obvious police brutality followed the now all-too-familiar model of feigning ignorance about the violence of the tactics they ordered, while vowing to “investigate,” and congratulating themselves for guarding the “security” of the campus:
Finally, Occupy UCLA was dispersed shortly after it began, resulting in 14 arrests:
NOTE: This is just a round-up of Occupy California stories that we’ve been following, but there is always more going on. If there is something you don’t see here and would like to see, please post it in comments.
As most of you know, students and workers have been organizing a day of action November 16 meeting at the UC Regents’ Meeting. So far more than 450 UCSC students have signed up to get on the bus and more than 1400 people from UC-Davis, SF State, Fresno Communities for a Better California, and K-12 teachers have signed up to be there! However, we’ve just received word that the Regents have cancelled their meeting because they didn’t want to face student protesters.
The Regents think that by canceling their meeting, they can deny students and workers a voice. But Wall Street and the Regents can’t hide from us. Students and workers are still planning to get on the bus to San Francisco!
- Buses will leave at 9:30 am from the East Remote Parking lot and arrive in SF between 11:30 and noon.
- Lunch @ noon
- Rally from 12-1
- March @ 1 (Occupy SF and other community groups will join us then)
- Rally at 4 (K-12 teachers will join in!)
- Buses leave by 5-5:30; home by 7:30-8pm
- Remember to have a fully-charged cell phone.
- Wear comfortable clothing and bring sunscreen and an extra layer.
- Bring a water bottle.
- It’s super important that we turn out a lot of people to this march to show that we are a strong movement and the Regents can’t deny us a voice just by refusing to do their job! Also, the thinking behind this is to strengthen links and coalitions to the movement for the 99%–to show that this is a broader problem and that the whole community is committed to fighting for economic justice.
- This new plan was developed by ReFund California, which had also planned and organized the Regents mtg action. Groups who helped in developing the plan include: UAW, AFSCME, Occupy SF, Communities for a Better California, California Faculty Association, California Nurses’ Association, and the Coalition to Defend Public Education.
- ReFund California is a state-wide coalition of students, unions, workers, educators, and community groups fighting together to make the banks pay for the economic crisis they’ve caused. It’s current main campaigns are around mortgage and housing abuses and education. Major partners in the coalition include UC unions: UAW, AFT (Lecturers,) and AFSCME (dining hall, custodial, etc.)
- The larger goal for ReFund CA is a more progressive tax system to promote greater economic equality and accessible, quality public services for Californians.
On Nov. 9, 2011, more than 600 students, workers, and faculty attended a noon rally in Quarry Plaza on the UCSC campus.
A group of about 500 students then marched to the base of campus in a dance party fueled by chanting, drumming, and a roving amp playing hip-hop and dance music. At the base of campus, students rallied, rested, danced, snacked, and had an impromptu poetry reading, then headed downtown to join a rally with local workers and K-12 teachers planned to take place at the clock tower on Water and Pacific.
Their March continued down Bay and took a left at Mission St., where they blocked traffic, and police quickly closed off the street. Students danced down Mission and workers and residents came out of their businesses and homes to wave or stare. Marchers waved and greeted spectators.
Here’s a video from the Noon rally:
When students got to the clock tower, the crowd was too big to fit around the clock tower without blocking traffic. The large crowd stood in the intersection of Pacific and Water while deciding for a while but then opted to gather around the steps of the post office in order to keep traffic moving on Water St. so that workers could arrive. But the actions were not over! See video and pictures below, but keep scrolling for more about the day of action.
Los Mejicas performed at the UCSC Rally.
Students gather at the base of UCSC’s campus.
When workers and K-12 teachers arrived, the community rally began. It featured local labor and community leaders: Nancy Abbey, a long-time activist with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Jenn Laskin, a teacher for Pajaro Valley School District, secretary for her union, and activist in the Brown Berets; Cesar Lara, Executive Director for the Monterey Bay Labor Council; Rafael Gomez, President of the California Faculty Association at CSUMB, and Rocio, a UCSC student active in the Brown Berets.
Before the rally could conclude, organizers received word that more than a dozen activists who had been milling around inside the Wells-Fargo lobby had been locked inside by police. When this was announced at the rally, the crowd of around 600 decided to go to the bank just a few blocks away. Once there, protesters surrounded the bank, chanting “spank the banks” and “we are the 99%”, and wrapping it in crime tape. One protester scaled an awning above one of the bank’s entrances and hung a banner.
A student read a list of the crimes that Wells-Fargo had committed against the community and the crowd repeated the charges using the “human microphone”. Charges included predatory lending targeting communities of color and students, and heavy investment in detention centers for undocumented migrants. After finding Wells-Fargo guilty of crimes against the community, the crowd repeated “we must love and take care of each other,” and dispersed peacefully, with more than half heading to Occupy Santa Cruz to participate in an Action Assembly there.