With the global crisis deepening, California is being hit hard. Two consecutive booms then busts, in high tech and then housing, have left the state devastated. The official jobless rate for California is 12.4%, but the reality is probably twice that. Millions of foreclosed homes sit empty alongside tent cities springing up across the state. Austerity was forced on the working class with almost no opposition -- until students rose up last fall. There have been occupations and strikes. On Thursday there will be statewide strikes, walkouts, and direct action. Hopefully it will spread beyond the campuses and become a general strike.
San Francisco, California—On the heels of strikes over cutbacks rocking Greece, the San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for an unprecedented widespread students, faculty and staff protests, walk outs and strikes in the public schools, community colleges, CSUs and UCs this Thursday March 4th as part of a statewide strike and day of action. While many of the faculty and staff at these campuses are represented by unions also planning after work protests at the SF Civic Center and Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza at 5 pm a broad coalition has been organizing for five months independently of these unions for direct action, walk outs and strikes. These efforts aim at not just protesting the destructive budget cuts crippling public, adult and higher education but engaging in civil disobedience to save public education, public services and public property such as the Civic Center which is slated to be auctioned soon.
“The $113 million in cutbacks are literally terrorizing the children in our school,” says San Francisco Sheridan Elementary School teacher Maria Lourdes Nocedal.
Students, faculty, staff and families are not only discussing the massive budget cuts, school closings, lay-offs, rising fees, course cancellations and overcrowding, and loss of critical student services that are damaging access and the quality of education but taking direct action to stop them.
“The cuts are targeting the poorest in our state most in need of an education,” explains Cañada College student Katy Rose. Rose is unemployed and was forced to move back into her mother’s Menlo Park house with her husband and two teenage children due to the declining economy when she and her husband lost their jobs.
“There is a bipartisan efforts to destroy and privatize education in California. We can no longer even rely on our unions to stop it since they give generous campaign donations to the very officials slashing and burning public education year after year.”
Northern California events on March 4th 2010:
· Rally at SF Civic Center @ 1:30 - San Francisco Civic Center, snake marches
· CCSF (main campus)- rally @ 12:00 - events all day on campus
· CCSF (Mission campus) - on campus events - meet up with 3:00 rally @ 24th & mission
· Many SF K-12 schools planning morning events, protest at 24th and Mission, and march to Civic Center at 3:00
· SF State – campus shutdown pickets @ 7 am, other campus events
· Oakland Education Association, local job actions, rally from noon till 5 at Frank Ogawa Plaza
· Diablo Valley College - walkout @ 12:00 other events on campus
· UC-Berkeley – picket lines from 7 am to noon, noon protest @ Bancroft & Telegraph, 12:45 march to Frank Ogawa Plaza
· CSU East Bay — noon rally/open mic speak out @ Agora Stage
· California Maritime Academy — noon Street Theatre/Mock “Die-In” @ Maritime’s main quad
· Laney College: 11 am protest, followed by march to Frank Ogawa Plaza
· Skyline and Cañada Colleges– student walkouts @ 10:00am, other campus events
· Pacifica, Ocean High School – other campus actions and teach in
· De Anza College – 10:30 am-noon teach-in; 12:30-1:30 protest in Main Quad; 1:30-3:10pm march to Cupertino City Council
· San Jose State — 11 am protest @ San Jose City Hall; 11:45 am march to San Jose State Tower Lawn (7th Street Plaza entrance); noon protest at SJSU
· Sonoma State – student walkout at 11:30 am, noon-1:30 pm Rally near Stevenson Quad