Students Protest Ed Entitlement Cuts

MAR. 5, 2012

By KATY GRIMES

Middle-aged, greying 1960s radicals, pimply faced kids, teachers, throngs of SEIU members, angry Occupy protestors, and union members of all kinds descended upon the state Capitol Monday. They demanded, “Wall Street and the wealthy 1 percent, pay to refund education, jobs, essential services, and a better future.”

The protest was sponsored by the California Teachers Association and the Occupy movement.

The protest even included roving bands of gang-attired youth probably not connected to education, dreadlock-wearing Rastafarians, earth children and the unmistakable sweet smell of marijuana wafting about.

Vapid stares, body odor, anger and an abundant use of the “F” word, some attended the rally with an express purpose in mind, while others appeared less committed and just were there for the chanting and day off of school.

“Enough is enough,” came the rally cry from college student body presidents. “We stand in solidarity,” said one speaker as Che Guevara signs waived wildly.

Shortly into the protest, it became clear that the rally really was about passing Gov. Jerry Brown’s $7 billion tax-increase ballot initiative, and the attendees were just human props.

Brown’s tax increase proposal, if approved, will:

* Increase the state income tax levied on annual earnings over $250,000 for five years.
* Increase the state’s sales and use tax by half a cent for four years.
* Allocate 89 percent of these temporary tax revenues to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges.

Senenate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, spoke to the thousands of protestors and outlined his goals:

1. Removing “Republican obstructionists” who were able last year to block the majority vote preventing passage of Brown’s state budget, which included tax increases. They blocked the tax increases even after voters passed Proposition 25 in 2010, a measure that allowed a majority vote of the Legislature instead of the previous two-thirds vote requirement in favor of the budget. Democrats were unable to get the budget passed without Republican help in 2011 because of the tax increases within it.

2. “Chant in November to pass the revenue measure,” Steinberg said.

3. Steinberg asked students to support Assembly Speaker John Perez’s AB 1500 and AB 1501 “to end tax loopholes for billionaires,” thereby funding a “two-thirds savings” on college tuition for middle class students. There was no talk about the more than 50 percent of California college students who already do not pay for school at the state’s public colleges and universities, or the dropout rate of 50 percent of first-year college students.

4. Affordable textbooks. This is where Steinberg and I will mostly agree, since the college textbook scam has a long and profitable history for the professor-authors. “A statistics textbook should not cost $240,” Steinberg said. And to end this high cost,  Steinberg said that he has introduced  SB 1052 and SB 1053, which are supposed to address this problem. Steinberg said that textbooks should cost $20 or less.

But the bills would add provisions to the Donahoe Higher Education Act to establish a new California Open Education Resources Council of nine members, including three faculty members from each of the public postsecondary segments, selected by the respective faculty senates of each segment. It’s just another state commission, but this one is for the CTA.

Signs were everywhere demanding a free education:

“FUND OUR FUTURE.”

“MAKE THE BANKS PAY.”

“OCCUPY EDUCATION.”

“MAKE THE 1 PERCENT PAY.”

“DON’T TAKE AWAY MY EDUCATION.”

“NO MONEY — NO EDUCATION.”

“THE WORKERS’ STRUGGLE HAS NO BORDERS.”

“DEMOCRACY, NOT PLUTOCRACY.”

A large group was wearing t-shirts that read, “Education is the key — give us the key to set us free.”

And, of course, the purple-shirted State Employees International Union members were en masse. I even saw SEIU jackets on tough-looking guys.

What’s a Protest Without Police Action?

There was a minor dust-up between police and a bicyclist, when police asked the guy to not ride through the crowd. Predictably, he yelled at police, demanding rights and insisting that it wasn’t illegal to ride a bike at the Capitol. I had seen this guy earlier with a group of militant bicyclists, identified with matching t-shirts. They weren’t there for the education rally.

It got interesting when a loudmouth guy with a bullhorn started calling the police names. “Get those animals off those horses,” the bullhorn guy and his group screamed at the mounted police.

When another police officer asked him to stop yelling obscenities, he didn’t react well. “You’re protecting the people who f*****d us over,” he screamed, obviously a little tightly wound.

While there were many police officers present, they were mostly in the background or on the periphery of the Capitol. It was protestors, like the bullhorn guy, who went out of their way to goad the police.

Bullhorn fellow tried to gin up his group by bringing up the Occupy Oakland protests. Instead of engaging, some of his group walked away. “Five hundred years of oppression, and look where it’s got us,” said a black protestor who had been hanging out with bullhorn guy’s group.

As noon neared, most of the students left the Capitol and filled up local restaurants. Protest leaders remained, and headed into the Capitol for meetings.

26 comments

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  1. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 March, 2012, 17:50

    We should fund CC, CSU and UC to the same % as 25 years ago-12% OF THE BUDGET

    And we should cut the prison funding of 11%^ of the budget to what it was 25 years ago-3%.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 March, 2012, 17:53

    BTW-I was as poor as it gets going to CC and CSU-and there were NO GRANTS to cover anything back then. O f course CC’s were FREE and CSU was only $150 a semester when I went there-so things must have changed a lot, as we know tuition at a CSU today is like $15K a year, vs $300 a year when I attended.

    Reply this comment
  3. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 5 March, 2012, 18:07

    When the Rich Rob the Poor, It’s Called “Business.”
    When the Poor Fight Back, It’s Called “Violence”

    Reply this comment
  4. eck
    eck 5 March, 2012, 18:40

    Hey Stevo, you got it backwards, the “poor” are robbing everyone else. Why don’t you get a real life?

    Reply this comment
  5. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 5 March, 2012, 20:11

    I’ve had a long and productive life. bucko, perhaps more than you. I also am a man of faith who believes in what Jesus said: “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” Too bad you were out of the room having a smoke when that part of the Bible was being taught.

    Reply this comment
  6. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 5 March, 2012, 21:00

    So how many Occupy protesters were at this rally? I suspect it was a very small crowd relative to the other protests that were aimed directly at the criminal Wall Street thugs who were the prime players in the biggest financial heist this world has ever seen.

    Why doesn’t this blog ever report on the Occupy Movement when they protest in front of the San Francisco Federal Reserve building or when they marched on the Capital building and the Supreme Court in DC or when they protested in front of Obama’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa or when they marched on the Sacramento City government???

    In other words, why do you only report negative things about the Occupy Movement when they have actually fought against many of the same things that this blog has opposed? Why do you emphasize all the differences and never mention any of the similarities? Why?

    Reply this comment
  7. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 5 March, 2012, 21:50

    Beelzebub – the protest was large – maybe 5,000, but much smaller than the Tea Party protests at the Capitol.

    But nearly all of the protestors were bused in, and many were asked to participate who had nothing to do with education. There were gangs, and thugs, bicycle activists, Rastifarians, earth people, hippies, crazy freaks and weirdos at the protest – people who love to protest, regardless of the issue. The protestors were not just students and teachers, but there were plenty of them.

    And unlike Tea party protestors who receive no pay or free transportation to protests, too many of the “education” protestors had transportation deals.

    NOTE: I do report on the Occupy movement – but what I’ve observed is at the state Capitol. Unfortunately, the Occupy protestors are largely irrelevant. Read what I have written – I’ve spoken to Occupy protestors who’ve admitted they are SEIU dupes, or arms of the Democrats. It’s hard to give credence to paid protestors or people who live in parks.

    As for the people who show up for a protest, many receive some form of a government benefit, and just want it to continue. These are not free market protests.

    – Katy

    Reply this comment
  8. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 5 March, 2012, 22:18

    “Read what I have written – I’ve spoken to Occupy protestors who’ve admitted they are SEIU dupes, or arms of the Democrats”

    You are speaking from your small and biased point of view. I too have spoken to many Occupy protesters who are far removed from how you generalize and characterize them. Many are conservative who are damn tired of living under an increasingly corrupted and fraudulent system that steals massive amounts of wealth from the working class and turns it over to the oligarchs in power.

    You have never offered a good word about Occupy protesters since I have read your columns. As I clearly explained, the Occupy movement has protested at the San Francisco Federal Reserve building in Dec. 2011 where 52 were arrested. They organized and marched on Capital Hill and the Supreme Court to protest big Wall Street and union lobbyist money that rules this country. They protested Obama in Des Moines during the GOP primary there. And they even protested the Sacramento City Council that you despise so much.

    Yet you never have a positive thing to say about the Occupy movement which has been the only grass roots force that has had any success is getting the truth to the American people about the corruption and fraud that has taken over the nation.

    The fact that you cite only negative news about the Occupy movement when it has fought against many injustices that you also oppose indicates to me that you are not an objective reporter. Unfortunately this has conditioned me to read your columns with a jaundiced eye.

    Reply this comment
  9. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 6 March, 2012, 07:55

    Perhaps I am not impressed with the Occupy movement because of how it came about – funded by the Dem party and unions. Conservatives who participated were duped.

    The “Occupy Movement” doesn’t know what it is protesting, other than everything. Yes, they are pissed off, but what have they accomplished other than to close down small business operators? They are not doing anything meaningful – they’ve dumped no tea into the harbor. Getting arrested at the end of the day solves nothing.

    My small and biased point of view is at least present at the Capitol everyday, and at City Hall, and all of the protests. I interview people present, talk to legislators and other public figures. That’s called original reporting.

    My opinions are not derived from reading other journalists the way most people have to.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 6 March, 2012, 08:16

    Many are conservative who are damn tired of living under an increasingly corrupted and fraudulent system that steals massive amounts of wealth from the working class and turns it over to the oligarchs in power.

    Occupy and Tea Party have the same goals, stopping the cronyism in gov thagt has basically destroyed the economy and the nation. That David Stockman interview with Bill Moyers nails it. The “Winner-Take-All Politics” by authors Hacker & Pierson on Moyers backs that up.

    In its premiere episode, Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.

    Bill’s guests – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/on-winner-take-all-politics/

    Reply this comment
  11. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 10:05

    Yes, Rex.

    I don’t agree with everything some of the Occupy protesters stand for. But people must understand that the Occupy movement is not one big homogenous organization. People are not required to subscribe to a certain political ideology to belong or participate. I have been to several large Occupy protests. I spoke to MANY conservatives at those gatherings who simply want the widespread corruption and fraud to STOP!

    If we don’t have grassroot, organized protests against the corruption and fraud the oligarch criminals (both in government and big business) will continue to eat us for breakfast.

    That’s why I get annoyed when people try to paint the Occupy protesters with one broad brush. It is a total misrepresentation and they need to get called out.

    Reply this comment
  12. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 10:16

    “Yes, they are pissed off, but what have they accomplished other than to close down small business operators? They are not doing anything meaningful – they’ve dumped no tea into the harbor. Getting arrested at the end of the day solves nothing”

    Katy, you seem to be a reasonably intelligent person. I have no idea why you cling to this belief.

    The Occupy movement has educated millions of American citizen about the widespread corruption and fraud by which they have been bilked. Movements exist primarily to EDUCATE. Similar to your blog. Someone could pose the argument that the CalWatchDog has done nothing to change anything and that your efforts have been worthless. But we know different. We know that EDUCATION does change things – gradually. It does not happen overnight but eventually the awareness doe have an effect.

    When the civil rights movement first began a person with your belief set might have said the same thing: “Yes, they are pissed off, but what have they accomplished other than to close down small business operators? They are not doing anything meaningful – they’ve dumped no tea into the harbor. Getting arrested at the end of the day solves nothing”

    But today we know that’s completely false. HUGE gains were made.

    All I am saying is keep an open mind. There are many things the Occupy movement is doing that helps all of us who believe in the Constitution and justice.

    Reply this comment
  13. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 6 March, 2012, 11:28

    Beelzebub, don’t you understand that you can’t use facts to change the minds of ideologues? But thanks anyway for trying.

    Katy and the corporate right complain vehemently about the Occupy people being “SEIU dupes,” but it’s OK that the Tea Baggers are funded and supported by the likes of the Koch Brothers. That’s hypocrisy, plain and simple.

    Katy is frightened by Occupy not because it is failing to accomplish anything, but because it IS accomplishing something. It is increasing public awareness of the vast inequities and unparalleled greed that have become the norm in our great country. And, just as the civil rights movement did, this will ultimately result in more economic equality.

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 6 March, 2012, 12:09

    steve from sacto says:
    Beelzebub, don’t you understand that you can’t use facts to change the minds of ideologues?

    Steve, PLEASE!!!!…you’re by far the most ideologue who pasts here, by far. You have a one set mind- and it is pro public employee, pro public union!

    Reply this comment
  15. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 12:10

    stevefromsacto, the Tea Party is largely a homogeneous group. Tea Party members share a common political ideology. That is what makes the Occupy movement different. Members do not share homogeneous political beliefs. That’s what Katy is missing. Not all Occupy protesters are democrats or SEIU members. Many are conservatives who want an end to the bezzle and and end to the merger of government and corporate powers. That is why I believe Katy is misrepresenting the movement. She should know better.

    Reply this comment
  16. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 6 March, 2012, 12:10

    the Tea Baggers are funded and supported by the likes of the Koch Brothers.

    Wrong again steve, the Koc brothers don’t fund the tea party anymore than the dems fun Occupy.

    Reply this comment
  17. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 12:37

    And, Steve, rex is right. You are one of the biggest ideologues on this board. All your opinions are one-sided. You really have no room to talk.

    Reply this comment
  18. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 6 March, 2012, 12:50

    Katy is not misrepresenting the movement.

    The people who think they are part of a movement are being duped. The Occupy “movement” is a well-funded, well-organized arm of the Democratic Party. For anyone to think that it’s really a bunch of disillusioned voters, union employees, conservatives, or students is naive.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  19. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 14:13

    “The people who think they are part of a movement are being duped. The Occupy “movement” is a well-funded, well-organized arm of the Democratic Party”

    That’s a load of crap, Katy. The Occupy protests that I went to had a good number of protesters demonstrating against the Obama administration. Is the dem party funding that too? And I have seen Occupy protesters doing the same at other nationwide protests in photographs. Naturally you would NEVER show one of those photos since it would defeat your whole purpose – and that is to attack every aspect of the Occupy movement – and that is a misrepresentation any way you size it up.

    As I said before, 52 Occupy protesters were arrested in Dec 2011 while demonstrating the fed monetary policy outside the SF Federal Reserve Building. But you would never dare report that, would you???

    Again, you emphasize the NEGATIVE and ignore the POSITIVE. That is a misrepresentation.

    Reply this comment
  20. queeg
    queeg 6 March, 2012, 16:46

    Lets be nice….it’s good to help needy people….with private money….only the truly needy need public funds….

    Reply this comment
  21. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 6 March, 2012, 19:41

    Last time I’ll try to pay you a compliment, Beelzebub. Yeah, maybe I’m one of the few people on this board to the left of Mitt Romney. But “the most ideological”? C’mon now. That’s only true if you think that people like you, Rexie and the Watchdog itself are all just “fair and balanced” and don’t have a right wing axe to grind. And you know better than that.

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 6 March, 2012, 22:21

    steve from sacto says: Yeah, maybe I’m one of the few people on this board to the left of Mitt Romney. But “the most ideological”? C’mon now. That’s only true if you think that people like you, Rexie and the Watchdog itself are all just “fair and balanced” and don’t have a right wing axe to grind.

    Steve, you’re a left wing commie. Me and Beelz are pretty much Independent voters with conservative fiscal values. Not right wingnuts. I am not a republic, but an Independent, after being a registered hardcore Democrat for 20+ years. No more.

    We don’t think spending $200K per year in comp on GED educated gov employees is prudent-that is not right wing or left wing, it is middle of the road straight up Independent. When that kind of scam is built off the backs of the poor and middle class then it is obvious the democratic party has left the working class in the dust.

    Reply this comment
  23. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 6 March, 2012, 22:38

    Rex, both my parents were stauch democrats. When I was a little kid the whole political party routine confused me. I asked my mom “Why do you and dad always vote for the democrats?”. She told me “Because the democrats support the working people and the republicans only support the rich”.

    That might have been true in those days but times have sure changed. Today BOTH parties steal from the working class and transfer the stolen goods to the wealthiest 5%. The entire two-party system is a complete scam. Now we get to choose between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Another Dracula-Frankenstein scenario.

    Reply this comment
  24. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 7 March, 2012, 08:07

    She told me “Because the democrats support the working people and the republicans only support the rich”.
    That might have been true in those days but times have sure changed

    I changed parties around 10-12 years ago, and it was because the Dems started throwing everyone in the poor and middle class under the bus in favor of public unions. That was the time the Dems started breaking the backs of the poor and middle class with regressive taxes to fund the public unions, that is when the tide turned and the Dems went from being a party of the poor and middle class to a bought and paid for arm of the public unions.

    I agree 100% with what you posted and what I copied above. Dems USED to be for working people, now they are their enemy.

    Reply this comment
  25. queeg
    queeg 7 March, 2012, 20:28

    There are no commies….they are distributors of your money!

    Paid operatives and the political class on this site placate you reponders…

    Your sheep among crafty foxes!!!!

    Reply this comment
  26. ageofknowledge
    ageofknowledge 7 March, 2012, 21:07

    What’s strange is all these protestors are the very ones that voted in the politicians that created this situation and these protestors continue to support them. It must be gross ignorance on the protestor’s part.

    Reply this comment

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