Protesters rally in Sacramento
March 4, 2010 9:49 PM
Signs waving, horns blowing and drums drumming, hundreds turned out to pack the lawn of the state's Capitol in defense of education.
Compared to the scenes at the University of California, Santa Cruz or the University of California, Berkeley, the Capitol was quiet, but the goal remained the same: to prove that advocacy is not a one-day, one-time event, but an ongoing fight to preserve the once pristine reputation of California's education system.
Students, faculty, staff and even children came out in support of the cause, driven by frustration over rising costs, lay-offs and a statewide budget deficit in a peaceful manner to show legislators they mean business.
"People don't want the violence, they came here to actually make a difference," said Susan Green, president of the California Faculty Association's Chico State University chapter.
Much of the event planning was in the hands of the CFA who urged people to speak out against what the California budget shortfall meant for them through a "teach-in" style rally on the steps of the capitol.
"Education is the great equalizer in our society," said Mocteczuma Sanchez, a Sacramento State student and Iraq War veteran. "If freedom is worth fighting for, so is education."
Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg took the podium to mixed audience reactions, insisting today would not be the last of advocacy efforts on the issue.
"You are troublemakers, and we love it," said Bill Camp of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, playing into rebellious tendencies. He said his goal is to "Make Wall Street pay, they destroyed our economy. We will not let that happen, we are willing and ready to fight."
Many people came out in support of changing the California State University system.
"The California education system created the California dream," Pat Gantt of the CSU Employees Union said. "Now, Schwarzenegger and his 'California nightmare' are slowing us down."
Others came out to stand up for the freedom of education for all people of all ages.
"Today we make history," said Lillian Taiz, president of the CFA. "These are the seeds of a movement that can lead our state back to one we believe in. California can achieve social justice for all of its people."
California assembly majority leader Alberto Torrico spoke out in defense of Assembly Bill 656, which would tax oil companies for drilling off California's shores and direct those profits to higher education.
"No longer will we be part of the band leading us down the path of mediocrity," Torrico said. "Business as usual is unacceptable."
The crowd rallied with him, yelling loud enough for people blocks away to hear their cries to overhaul of California's education budget.
Senator Leland Yee took the stage, vowing to never vote for cuts to education, and to urge his colleagues to follow his lead.
"We will bring California to its knees," Yee said. "We need Sacramento to get their priorities straight."
You can also experience more multimedia.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University