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Protests for Public Education

March 5, 2010

Yesterday morning, I walked by protesters at Sather Gate as I walked to work. It was the March 4 Day of Action, and many students, staff, and supporters had gathered to voice their opposition to the increased fees and cuts to the public education system. Throughout the day, the group swelled to over a thousand supporters as they gathered for a rally on the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph and eventually marched to Oakland. From where I was working in Sproul Hall, I could hear the constant chants of “No cuts, no fees, education must be free.”

Protesters swamp the intersection at Bancroft and Telegraph for a noontime rally. (photo credit: Jeffery Kahn/NewsCenter)

I think a protest is not the ideal way to come to a solution to a problem. But when people feel that their opinions are not heard and considered, a protest is all they have left. A protest is a sea of voices, heard loud and clear.

Yesterday, actions all across the state made a powerful statement. Governments must be extremely careful in making cuts to public education. Our future is at stake.

With the noon hour approaching, the crowd of pickets and passersby was growing at Sather Gate, where protesters hoisted banners spelling out their demands.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aaron Port permalink
    March 6, 2010 6:01 am

    Sorry, but I don’t really agree….at all. The only protestors who made a powerful statement were the ones in Sacramento.

    The other protestors embarrassed the UC system — especially here at Davis, where they blocked buses, pulled fire alarms, disrupted classes, and attempted to block Interstate 80. In Berkeley, it was 880. The protestors were so misdirected it’s almost shameful. They took their anger out on other students by preventing THEIR education, and they took out their anger on people who literally have nothing at all to do with the problems at hand, like all the travelers who had to deal with the protests’ attempts to block highways and streets.

    The negative spin that the news has cast on this story is well deserved, because quite frankly the protestors were irrational. And thanks to that irrationality, nobody will view the protest as anything more than a bunch rowdy and unreasonable students who are out of touch with reality.

    • March 7, 2010 3:52 pm

      I think the power of the statement is the act of protesting itself. The fact that so many people felt strongly that their voices were not being heard and were compelled to rally and protest means something.

      I do agree with you that the blocked buses, pulled fire alarms, and disrupted classes are shameful and a waste of time though. I may have been somewhat unclear in my original post, but by no means do I support the people who participated in these useless actions.

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