Tuesday, July 23, 2013

UC Santa Cruz Students March for Trayvon

On July 15, students rallied at UCSC's Quarry Plaza then marched to downtown Santa Cruz during an "I am Trayvon Martin" solidarity demonstration.

After arriving at the Santa Cruz town clock, candles were lit and speakers shared their thoughts, then the march resumed through the downtown and on to the court house. 

The demonstration was organized by the students and interns of UCSC's African American Resource & Cultural Center (AARCC), who encouraged individuals to wear hoodies, and bring candles and signs for the march. An announcement for the event read, "Santa Cruz we cant be quiet about this!!! We have to stand up and be unified and speak up about this injustice! We are all Trayvon Martin!" 


The sign read in full: "I am not Trayvon Martin, but I know this country's legal system is a racist one"

Santa Cruz Court House

Taking the Streets in San Jose for Trayvon Martin

Dozens of community members gathered on July 14 to hold a vigil for justice for Trayvon Martin at San Jose City Hall. The group decided to march to the federal building and circle around the downtown to get their message out, and San Jose Police exerted pressure on marchers to move onto the sidewalk. For much of the march, individuals were chanting, "no justice, no peace, no racist police."

Other march chants included: "Long Live Trayvon," "Trayvon lives," "Trayvon is never gone," "No justice, no peace, we're taking over the streets," "Long live Oscar Grant," "No justice, no peace, no racist police," "Being black is not a crime," "Trayvon is never gone," "Racist cops, racist laws, it all starts at city hall." 

About halfway through the march, approximately eight San Jose Police Department patrol vehicles began to follow the demonstrators, ordering individuals to stay on the sidewalk or they would be cited. When marchers returned to City Hall, officers strapped on large clubs to their belts.

San Jose City Hall

Federal Building

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Confronting Uncle Sam at Rally for Rights

In solidarity with activists facing state repression in Turkey and Brazil, as well as American whistle blowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, community members held a "Rally for Rights" at the Santa Cruz Town Clock on July 6. Demonstrators held signs, staged an intervention on Uncle Sam, lit candles for a vigil, and several individuals also stood on traffic medians to protest the recent criminalization of that act in the City of Santa Cruz.

"Protesters in Turkey and Brazil have faced down tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets simply for trying to assemble. U.S. patriots such as Edward Snowden face jail time and possibly torture if captured, while political activists are spied on and monitored merely for criticizing the U.S. government, banksters and multinational corporations," an announcement for the event read.

"It doesn't matter whether the government is led by reactionary Islamists in Turkey, secular social democrats in Brazil, or conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats in the U.S. The systems they rule over are the same, and serve only the interests of the 1%."

In a bit of street theater, occupy activists conducted an intervention with Uncle Sam (played by Attorney Ed Frey) and confronted him with the fact that he is addicted to oil and corporate money.

The rally was organized by the Turkish Solidarity Working Group, which was formed by Occupy Santa Cruz in June.


Ed Frey as Uncle Sam