Expanding movement - Page 3

Day of Action started on UC campuses, but it's grown to encompass wider calls to fund public education and services

Collette Crutcher and Carlos Baron show off a puppet that will be part of mass street demonstrations March 4.

That's very scary," to the administrators the movement is targeting, he added.

That focused pressure on UC administrators sets these students apart from the coalition of UC Berkeley faculty members and student government members and allies who are coordinating bus trips to protest in Sacramento March 4, he explained. "Sacramento's not innocent, but it's not like the administrators are just doing what they have to do," he charged, pointing to new construction projects on campus even as workers are hit with layoffs and furloughs, plus an increasing trend of privatizing on-campus jobs and services. "You can save the public sector by pouring money into it. But it won't work if the people in charge ... want to privatize everything."

Jasper Bernes, a graduate student in English who was seated next to Cantor, noted that the occupation tactic is catching on at other campuses. "I have no doubt that March 4 will greet us with news of many occupations," he said.

Baron, the Chilean theater professor, noted that some SF State students had occupied a business school building in protest of budget cuts. "They were pissed," he said. "They wanted to do something radical. They really inconvenienced a lot of people — but they took chances nonetheless. I went there, and I locked arms with them for awhile." At the same time, he wondered about how effective it was, he said.

And for all the months of preparation and visioning, Baron said he also wonders what will ultimately be borne out of the marches, rallies, pickets, and procession of lovingly crafted street puppets he helped breathe life into. For all the hard work and planning, he says, "My problem is not so much March 4. It's March 5."


Given that the political anti-tax crowd has been happy seeing California's once vaunted public education system go into the crapper over the course of several decades, I personally don't see any reason to be polite to the people I hold responsible for this damage.

So two suggestions, one nice and one particularly nasty.

Nice: Targeted blockades of the offices of the most fervent Sacramento anti-tax legislators with as much media coverage as can be mustered. If those legislators don't lose any sleep actively blocking the fiscal operation of the state, they can stand being hampered in carrying on their service on behalf of the state. Besides, the blockaders might be lucky enough to see one of the legislator's lobbyist friends stopping by.

Particularly Nasty: This suggestion is for the right-wing trolls who occasionally visit the SFBG site. I won't spell out the specifics. But let's say it involves Howard Jarvis' grave, a shortage of public toilets, and unfortunately long lines for same. Grover Norquist buried up to his neck would work equally well for our purposes.

Frankly, I really really hope things won't get so bad in California that implementing the Particularly Nasty suggestion ever becomes necessary.

Posted by Peter on Mar. 03, 2010 @ 11:04 am