The first big protests of the 2006-2007 school year at UC Santa Cruz took place on October 18, 2006, the day the UC Regents came to visit campus. It had been five years since all 26 UC Regents came to UCSC. During the second demonstration of the day by hundreds of students outside the new Humanities Building at Cowell College, police pushed, swung and jabbed with their batons before taking three students hostage and hurling streams of pepper spray directly into the eyes of demonstrators. In the first protest of the day, which began at noon, AFSCME workers and students held a rally in the Bay Tree Plaza and then marched to the base of campus calling on UC President Dynes to release funds promised by the California Legislature to low-paid UC workers. AFSCME workers and students are also demanding wages comparable to those of neighboring colleges and universities where people are paid up to 30% more for doing the same amount or less work. More information and photos from the first protest can be found by visiting: AFSCME and Friends March for Wage Parity, Justice Action Kicks off Day of Unrest During UC Regents Visit to Santa Cruz The second demonstration of the day got started at 2:45pm with a rally in the Bay Tree Plaza. Hundreds of students then marched to the new Humanities Building at Cowell College. There, a community speak-out was held while the UC Regents, flanked by University police, made their way into the building. UC administrators told students that the public comment period was cancelled by the Regents because they were worried about the large demonstration taking place outside the new Humanities Building. “one of many” students at the demonstration outside the new Humanities Building at Cowell College published a summary of the protest. Please read this summary: Summary of Events: UCSC Protests Regents Visit The summary is “one student activist’s attempt to provide one perspective of the story.” I read the summary and feel that it is an accurate retelling of events. Also, please be sure to read: Why We’re Here and What We’re Fighting For (on the UC Regents protest) The article was authored by “concerned members of the ucsc community” and the text was extracted from a flyer passed out by organizers during the UC Regents protest. The following is an excerpt from “Why We’re Here and What We’re Fighting For” But why mess with the public comment period? We know that many in our community have serious issues that need to be communicated with the Regents. But we also know that the Regents have no real desire to address our concerns. It’s been 5 years since they’ve visited UCSC – and yet they just hold a couple short comment periods, giving us mere seconds to speak? Even this they do not because they’re interested in what we have to say, but because they’re required by law to hold public comment periods whenever they get together. We’ve been to Regents’ meetings. We’ve made our speeches. We’ve tried to make them listen. But all they do is laugh, turn their backs, take naps, and kick us out of their meetings. The public comment period is not our few minutes of opportunity, but a farce intended to hold up an undemocratic and unaccountable system. When we reject this comment period and hold our own community speak-out, we are taking back our voices, taking back our university, and showing the world how we really feel. ——————- please see more Indymedia coverage and photos at: UCSC Community Confronts Regents, Cops Respond with Violence, Pepper-Spray – Crossposted at Indybay.org.