It’s not much but I wanted to put up the few rinky-dink pictures I was able to take on my blackberry at the protests earlier today. Hundreds of students have been standing outside of wheeler hall to support the group of “15-30” students and supporters that have locked themselves into the building. Today is the last of a three day student strike that began this Wednesday with a rally at Sproul Hall before busloads of students took the trip down to Los Angeles to show solidarity with the students at UCLA in their campus protests.
Not really sure yet who exactly is inside but they’ve been in Wheeler since early this morning. Chancellor Robert J.Birgeneau, has been emailing students regularly throughout the day, saying nothing of significance of course, save for that “The protesters are demanding reinstatement of 38 AFSCME custodial staff who were recently laid off and amnesty and the dropping of charges against any of the protestors.” (Yes, that is a direct quote).
When I left campus about 2 hours ago the police had already entered the building to arrest the protestors. Supporters outside surrounded the building blocking the exits hoping to stop the police from escorting the protestors from the building.
They screamed, yelled, cat-called, cursed.
Hey hey! Ho Ho! UC Regents got to go!
Your sexy! Your cute! Take off your riot suit!
Who’s University?! Our university!
Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!
If democracy looks like thousands of kids sitting, standing, kicking, screaming, pushed against guard rails separating them from silent, stone-faced police officers clad in riot gear,
then it smells like tear gas, rain and sweat and the generosity of homemade food passed around to “keep the energy up,”
it sounds like cracking voices, dry from screaming into the cold air and tone def crowds singing “We shall overcome”
and apparently down at our brother university, UCLA, democracy feels like volts from a Taser gun penetrating the muscles of a protestor as she sat resting on a corner. Read the rest of this entry »