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Campus protests: UC Santa Cruz

The University of California Santa Cruz is advising employees and others not to come to the main campus today "due to potential safety concerns," according to the school's Web site.

ucsc.jpg The Santa Cruz Sentinel is reporting dozens of students blocking roads and drivers being denied access to campus, including a sobbing heath care worker and an arboretum contractor who "vowed to never hire any of the students again."

Campus Provost David Kliger issued a statement that said the morning protest escalated into behavior that is disruptive, intimidating and destructive. "Behavior that degrades into violence, personal intimidation, and disrespect for the rights of others is reprehensible, and does nothing to aid efforts to restore funding to the university." The university also posted photos from the protest online.

Around 5:45 a.m. about 60 protesters gathered near the school's main entrance and about 50 more gathered at the west entrance, effectively closing that entrance. By 6 a.m. campus police had begun to turn away cars from the main entrance, according to the school Web site.

At about 7 a.m. there was a report of a vehicle windshield smashed near campus and another campus employee who attempted to enter a campus entrance reported that protesters took photographs of the employee's vehicle and license plate, in an intimidating manner. There is also a report of a vehicle being denied the right to exit faculty and staff housing, the school reported.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. to include the provost's statement and photos.

Track today's national protests on The Post's Higher Education page.

By Jenna Johnson  |  March 4, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
 | Tags: March 4, University of California  
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To set the record straight, I just came back from several hours at the budget cut protest here at UCSC. I want to state that the university's official "report of a vehicle windshield smashed" is utterly misleading, and some of the other official administrative messages posted on the UCSC site are complete fabrications (as an alum and a long time staff member I really was shocked to read them). Re the windshield: while some student protesters were attempting to re-close the picket line behind a police car (after allowing it through the line), another car attempted to force it's way in behind and in doing so ran over the foot of one of the students. A few of the protesters fell on the car. In an urgent effort to keep the car from doing more damage some protesters banged (with their bare fists) on the car windows and the rear window was cracked. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports "Protesters jumped on a passing car near the base of the UCSC campus this morning, shattering the windshield, Santa Cruz police Capt. Steve Clark said. That was the only protest-related incident so far, according to city police. 'The morning has gone fairly smooth for us,' Clark said." Indeed, a group of motorcycle police hung out and chatted as a few students near them made pancakes and hundreds of other students, staff and faculty civilly exercised our democratic right to protest what we see are unjust, foolhardy, crippling budget cuts.

Posted by: tryingtobehopeful | March 4, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I comment, as a UCSC graduate from the t960s. Unlike the 60s, when a war and very serious "non-monetary" nationwide issues were at stake ... the present demonstrations smack of self-interest and greed to get a cheaper education ... at a time society at large cannot afford to provide such education.

The violence reported, no matter how small or accidental or "unintended", shows the lack of discipline and organization in the present demonstrations.

California cannot afford to provide what people demonstrating at UCSC want, unless it cuts its welfare or other public service budgets -- or gets rid of its high administrative costs, among others. That means, students will need to take money from the mouths and hands of poorer, less privileged people, from across the state and in its big cities -- in order to pay for their educational experiece.

That is wrong and will not sit well with any of the classes of the statewide society, except those who wish to exploit the students for their own political gain.

Posted by: bdavis6 | March 4, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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