Students block Highway 1 protesting tuition hikes and police violence

Santa Cruz Protesters Block Hwy 1
Santa Cruz protestoers block hwy 1

Photo by Shawn Kranitz

Santa Cruz, CA–

UC Santa Cruz students kicked off 4 days of planned demonstrations on Monday.

An event page on Facebook hosted by Liberate our Education reads:

***THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION**** for students of all Universities, Community Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools past, present, and future to stand up for free public education and shut down the racist, classist, corporate, militarized police state. The same people benefiting from racial oppression are the same people benefiting from education debts. The state of California is failing its people by investing in police and prisons instead of public education. It’s time to reject this assault on our communities and stand together for education and the end of police violence.

~~MARCH 2-4th: SHUT IT DOWN — host direct actions, workshops, teach-ins, (the possibilities are endless!!)

~~MARCH 5th: STRIKE!!!!! no work no school, show up and stop the cycle of economic exploitation from continuing — strikes work, and big gains have recently been made for public education in Quebec, Germany, and Chile.

Stand with your fellow students to demand a free, non-oppressive, non-corporate education. We call upon your collective voices and bodies to end this state-sponsored violence against black and brown individuals, end this war against low-income communities, shut down the school-to-prison pipeline, and prioritize PEOPLE OVER PROFITS! STUDENTS OVER SUITS!

Monday students held a rally and marched through campus chanting “no hikes, no fees, education should be free”.

Today, protesters are blocking highway 1 with lockboxes (pipes protesters put their arms in) and trash cans filled with “700 pounds of cement”, according to one source.  Traffic is also disrupted on Highway 17.  According to reports, the students were met with CHP and “a couple dozen riot cops.”

The protesters are still on the Highway as CHP and firemen try to separate the lockboxes.

UPDATE–

Six protesters were arrested after CHP and Caltrans were able to separate them with jack hammers and saws.  They were charged with conspiracy, creating a public nuisance, refusing to comply with an order by a uniformed officer, and resisting arrest.

Santa Cruz Protesters Block Hwy 1