It’s a Mad World

CAL: A fairly strong majority of UC Berkeley participated in the protests on Mar. 4. I had two early classes before the protest even started and still only about half of the class had shown-up. Once the protest had begun, several fire alarms were pulled so that for several students, even if they wanted to go to class, they could not. We started to march down Telegraph, a main street in Berkeley, and there were thousands of people on the street. I couldn’t see anything but people all around me. Surprisingly, it was less rowdy than the Wheeler occupation that happened in November. Within about three hours, we marched all the wa y to Oakland like that. Once we were in Oakland in front of the Regent’s office, people started to make speeches. I left about halfway through the protests because they started veering away from the issue of fees and education and started talking more about racially charged issues, which I agree with, but still found kind of unrelated to the causes I wanted to support.

-David Hubbard,  UC Berkeley student

UCSB: On February 25, former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush Karl Rove came to UC Santa Barbara to speak and promote his new book.

The politician was invited by the UCSB College Republicans, as well as offered a hefty sum of $25,000 to come speak; $12,833 came from student funds, according to third-year sociology major Brian Miller.

Miller, along with fourth-year political science and economics major Mark Longirau posted videos on YouTube depicting their involvement with the protest.

More than 600 students assembled that evening to both protest and confront Rove as he exited the building.

According to the video, the students ambushed Rove as he, accompanied by campus security and his own personal security, ran to his car.

Students yelled, “Murderer!” “War criminal!” and “Killer!” as a fearful and shocked Rove dove into his automobile.

Miller claims his purpose for protest was not merely rooted in his dislike for Rove.

“Mark and I participated in this activity to get people talking about these types of things. We are not left, we aren’t right either; we’re just people. Those types of divisions tend to draw attention away from the key issues. We need to start holding our government  accountable for their actions, not arguing over who’s left and who’s right,” Miller said.

-Compiled by Maxine Wally, New U staff

UCSD: In the past three weeks, the UCSD community has experienced a number of racially-charged incidents on our campus including a Facebook event detailing a racially-themed party in “honor” of Black History Month, a noose hung up in Geisel Library and a KKK hood on the statue of Dr. Seuss.

These events have brought many members of the student body, faculty, workers and the community together in solidarity with the Black Student Union (BSU) to help better the campus climate. The BSU has held a number of events to bring to light the institutional nature of the racism that they and other students have experienced over the many years the university has been standing.
Events such as a number of sit-ins, marches and teach-ins were held to both educate the UCSD population and administration about the significance of recent happenings as well as to demand that Chancellor Mary Anne Fox and other administrators make concrete actions to better the environment for underrepresented minorities on campus. These demands include funding for an African-American Studies Minor, funding for yield programs to increase diversity on campus and increasing visible art on campus that represents underrepresented communities, among others.

Currently, the administration has agreed to start implementing these demands to make a wholehearted attempt at making UCSD a more comfortable place for all of its students. In addition to these events, a March 4 rally was held on campus to illustrate a discontent with the 32 percent fee increase for students coupled with a number of cutbacks in student services, a reduction in choice of classes, furloughs for faculty, etc. Many students at the protest felt that education was not a privilege, but a right that should be available to all. These fee hikes will effectively decrease accessibility to the university, furthering the lack of diversity on our campus.

-Aliza Ali, UCSD student

UC DAVIS:
The protests on Mar. 4 at UC Davis were aimed at shutting the school down. Participants started at the Memorial Union, a central location on campus, and moved on to the bus depot to disable transportation. After the bus depot, protesters took over a nearby intersection, drumming and chanting within police-designated barriers.
Meanwhile, on campus, classes were canceled and fire alarms were pulled in various locations, including the library. Shortly after, the crowd marched toward the freeway with plans to take over I-80 until they were met at the freeway exit by police resistance. Students were shot at with pepper spray bullets, and those who moved forward faced batons. The crowd finally dispersed after police took a student leader, fifth-year Laura Mitchell, hostage. In exchange for her release with only a citation, students left the freeway area. Student protesters remained active in other intersections throughout the evening.
-Rebecca, UC Davis student