Protest: 'Republicans — Pass The Bucks!'

MAY 13, 2011


More teachers union activists were arrested at the Capitol yesterday, and it wasn’t just for using hackneyed, worn out chants. This time the arrests came when more than two dozen of the activists refused to leave the Senate Minority Leader’s office.

I warned everyone earlier in the week about the planned sit-ins they were threatening…

On Thursday, the teachers union activists were lobbying Assembly members and Senators to vote in favor of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax extensions, and to forgo a vote of the people on the extensions.

Union leaders, including CTA President David Sanchez, had directed activists to congregate in and around the offices of Republican Senate Leader Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare.

Earlier in the day, Sanchez had been honored in the Assembly by Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez of Los Angeles with House Resolution 14, naming May 11, 2011 the “Day of the Teacher.” Following Perez’ introduction of HR 14, numerous members of the Assembly gave speeches showing bipartisan support for the resolution, including Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, wearing a bright blue CTA T-shirt.

But, when it came time to close the Capitol offices for the day, it was reported by the Capitol police that for the second time this week, the teachers union activists would not leave, and were arrested.

A similar event took place on Monday, as Capitol CHP officers were forced to arrest several dozen teachers and students, after a long and raucous day of protests, when they refused to leave the Capitol at closing time.

In a prepared statement, Sanchez explained the sit-ins and protests: “I am not willing to sit idle while a handful of Republican lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly refuse to face the realities happening in the classrooms and communities across California. So a few CTA members decided to visit two of them today to let them know that we are in a state of emergency and it’s time they started acting like it.”

Yesterday’s CTA chant was, “Republicans — pass the bucks!” Earlier in the week, teachers carried signs and yelled, “Tax the rich!” during the “State of Emergency” rallies.

Republicans released a budget plan yesterday that they say fully funds education without tax increases. And at the press conference yesterday, Republicans said they believe that Brown’s tax proposal should go back to the voters.

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