Wednesday, October 18, 2006

UC Regents Open Fire on Protesters

Okay, not really. But isn't that an awesome headline?

The University of California Regents are on campus at UCSC today--for only the second time in the last forty years. The official report on their visit has them participating in "tours, talks, and hands-on activities." What exactly does "hands-on activities" mean? Are they going to pull carrots at the campus organic farm? Pour concrete at the library expansion? Attempt to subdue Angela Davis (hint: bring a Taser)?

Fosco had forgotten about the Regents visit, so this afternoon, he and Michael and Laurel (the Canadians!) headed for the taqueria at Merrill College (one of UCSC's ten residential colleges). On the way, we passed by the new humanities complex (soon to be Fosco's home) and remembered that the Regents were, at that moment, inside at their "public Q&A session." We saw a number of people milling around on the plaza (mostly a bunch of juggling hippies to tell the truth) and continued on our way.

About half an hour later, filled with burrito, we passed again by the building, but now there was a full force (maybe 20? 25?) of police in full riot gear (face masks, body armor, batons) guarding the building. Laurel saw what appeared to be some arrestees (but Fosco did not--he was driving). What, we asked each other, could have happened?

Well, the answer isn't too surprising. As there is no daily student newspaper at UCSC (which is ridiculous when you think about it), we have to rely on the Santa Cruz Sentinel for the story. According to the Sentinel:

In a show of protest to UC policies, dozens of student protestors attempted to force their way inside a campus lecture hall and disrupt the Board of Regents’ second official visit to UC Santa Cruz in 40 years.

Police used batons and pepper spray to subdue the crowd.
You can read the full story here, but actually, by reading the quote above, you have read the full story (I expect more in-depth coverage to appear somewhere tomorrow--I'll update then.)

The best part about the Sentinel's coverage at this point is the series of pictures, including the one you see above (protesters post-pepper spray) and this one:

Fosco's favorite part of this picture is the masked man in the center who remembered to bring his drum to the protest. I guess you never know when a drum circle might break out.

Now, of course, Fosco is no fan of the UC Regents. Judging from their bios, pretty much every one of them is repulsive: the Schwarzenegger ones for being appointed by Schwarzenegger, most of the others for being businesspeople, and the remaining few for being suspiciously underqualified for running the UC system. Add the fact that there is likely to be a very nasty contract battle between the TA Union and these very Regents next spring and, well, let's just say that Fosco would be more than happy to have them trapped in that Humanities Lecture Hall surrounded by drumming hippies for a long, long time.

No, Fosco's only disagreement with most of these protesters is aesthetic. I know that "aesthetic" is a troubled category, but all I mean is that I like me my protesters to wear shirts and not to wear bandanas (oh yeah, and no drums.) Pay attention, hippies: you could win the support of extremely left-leaning academics like Fosco if only you dressed a little better for your protests. If you put on some khakis and let me know the next time the Regents are in town, I'll bring a pack of my grad school pals and we'll do a thing. Is it a deal?


Anonymous said...

If you had gone to the protest, you would have known there's a bunch of different type of folks there.

Get over your anti-hippy shit and stand up for what you believe in.

FOSCO said...

stand up for what you believe in

That's great advice! Thanks, ANONYMOUS.