Santa Cruz Community and Students Rally, March, Act Nov. 9 to ReFund California!

13 Nov

On Nov. 9, 2011, more than 600 students, workers, and faculty attended a noon rally in Quarry Plaza on the UCSC campus.

A group of about 500 students then marched to the base of campus in a dance party fueled by chanting, drumming, and a roving amp playing hip-hop and dance music. At the base of campus, students rallied, rested, danced, snacked, and had an impromptu poetry reading, then headed downtown to join a rally with local workers and K-12 teachers planned to take place at the clock tower on Water and Pacific.

Their March continued down Bay and took a left at Mission St., where they blocked traffic, and police quickly closed off the street. Students danced down Mission and workers and residents came out of their businesses and homes to wave or stare. Marchers waved and greeted spectators.

Here’s a video from the Noon rally:



When students got to the clock tower, the crowd was too big to fit around the clock tower without blocking traffic. The large crowd stood in the intersection of Pacific and Water while deciding for a while but then opted to gather around the steps of the post office in order to keep traffic moving on Water St. so that workers could arrive. But the actions were not over! See video and pictures below, but keep scrolling for more about the day of action.


Los Mejicas performed at the UCSC Rally.

Students gather at the base of UCSC’s campus.


When workers and K-12 teachers arrived, the community rally began. It featured local labor and community leaders: Nancy Abbey, a long-time activist with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Jenn Laskin, a teacher for Pajaro Valley School District, secretary for her union, and activist in the Brown Berets; Cesar Lara, Executive Director for the Monterey Bay Labor Council; Rafael Gomez, President of the California Faculty Association at CSUMB, and Rocio, a UCSC student active in the Brown Berets.

Before the rally could conclude, organizers received word that more than a dozen activists who had been milling around inside the Wells-Fargo lobby had been locked inside by police. When this was announced at the rally, the crowd of around 600 decided to go to the bank just a few blocks away. Once there, protesters surrounded the bank, chanting “spank the banks” and “we are the 99%”, and wrapping it in crime tape. One protester scaled an awning above one of the bank’s entrances and hung a banner.

A student read a list of the crimes that Wells-Fargo had committed against the community and the crowd repeated the charges using the “human microphone”. Charges included predatory lending targeting communities of color and students, and heavy investment in detention centers for undocumented migrants. After finding Wells-Fargo guilty of crimes against the community, the crowd repeated “we must love and take care of each other,” and dispersed peacefully, with more than half heading to Occupy Santa Cruz to participate in an Action Assembly there.










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