Tag Archives: AB 462

Yesterday’s student march and the media blackout

Finally yesterday’s media blackout on the march on the state capitol is over with. Unfortunately, the two sources I was hoping would end that blackout–the LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle–are still missing in action. Sure, the Chronicle has an article on students protesting cuts in education, but it’s about a protest that occurred across the border in Nevada to lobby Republican Governor Jim Gibbons; 35 students from a high school in Ely did this, and the absence from school apparently counted as a school activity. In any case, it’s an AP wire article.

Allow me to back up a bit. The march at the state capitol was held to protest possibly looming cuts in education at the college level. It was held to demand a return to non-fee-based, free access to education at the college level. Granted, Governor Schwarzenegger spared community colleges in his latest budget. Our fear was that we may be next. So, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges called for a march to be held yesterday (beginning at Raley Field in West Sacramento). The march culminated with a rally at the west side of the state capitol.

Instead, the paper that broke the media blackout was the Sacramento Bee. I’m not a real fan of the Bee–especially since it’s home to Broder lovechild Dan Walters–but the paper can be good on occasion.

The march went well enough, but I returned home to what seemed like a media blackout on the march. I did see one report last night–on KTVU, which did about a minute-long segment–but little else.

The downside of the Bee article in question is that it seems to merely touch base on the protest in the broader sense of Mac Taylor’s revelation that the State is still $8 billion in the red.

The article, in addition, doesn’t mention who all made speeches: among them, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, SF Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (who for her part urged us all to “hold our nose” and vote for Arnold’s Special Favors in May), Hawthorne Assemblyman Curren Price (who was there to promote AB 462, which would levy a one-percent tax increase on the rich to help pay for education), and various members of the Student Senate of California Community Colleges (among them Vice President Troy Carter) and speakers from various other community colleges, not to mention the president of the California Students’ Association.

It doesn’t mention the presence of an local of the AFL-CIO. It doesn’t mention that SEIU set up a table to hand out free sack lunches to workers, students, and anyone else who wanted one. It doesn’t mention the presence of International ANSWER, the Peace & Freedom Party, the Socialist Worker’s Party, or the Party of Socialism and Liberation. Come to think of it, it doesn’t mention much of anything at all other than the fact that students marched, chanted slogans, and waved around placards.

The Bee article, though, does contain a video report, which I would recommend watching to get a better idea of how the march and rally went down if you couldn’t make it out.

More personally, though, there was a stark contrast to the participation by students from CCSF–which I heard had to take eighteen buses up to the march–and our contingent from Shasta College, which couldn’t even get one bus completely full. Students from as far south as Los Angeles and quite possible San Diego traveled four or five hundred miles to show their support for higher education, and more students from Shasta College couldn’t be convinced to take a lousy three-hour road trip.

Granted, I’m well aware of the limitations faced by students here; a lot of them, in addition to working full time, also attend school full time. A lot of them are older and have children. My biggest fear, though, is that more people didn’t come because of apathy or ignorance than because of irreconcilable circumstances.

The march was a rousing success, though I was slightly disappointed that the rally at the state capitol ended before 1:30 when it was supposed to continue for another half-hour.

Cross-Posted from No Special Favors.