Manning a 12-person paper slug puppet and a rolling stereo sound system, around forty students marched throughout the UCSC campus on Monday, March 1st from 12 – 2 pm.
One organizer, who asked not to be named, described the protesters motives. “We are trying to raise awareness about March fourth,” he said, “and the racist acts on UC campuses.”
Written on the giant yellow slug was: “no fees, no furlough and no cuts to classes.”
The students, faces covered by bandannas and sweatshirts, began convalescing in the quarry plaza around noon.
They then marched, in the middle of the street, up Hagar Drive. Making a left onto McLaughlin, they marched up the right lane of the street, leaving many cars in the middle of the road, stranded between students, and forcing one campus bus to let students out on the edge of the road.
On McLaughlin Drive, some masked protesters moved construction signs, from both the Cowell Student Health Center and Biomedical Sciences Facility sites, into the road, blocking traffic going both ways.
Students then turned onto Science Hill making their way to the Science and Engineering Library.
From there, the protesters entered the College 9 and 10 dinning hall, calling for awareness of the March fourth protests. Many students cheered and some took pictures of the gargantuan slug.
Dining hall employees seemed amused by the marchers but then became angry when masked students began streaming up stairs towards Terra Fresca.
Police detained one student as protesters, standing outside the College 9 and 10 dining hall, began drumming on windows yelling, “Let him go.”
Once the student was released, the protesters left the dining hall, and many pushed over dinning hall signs, angering dining workers who were outside.
University administrators said that although the protest was not sanctioned, they would not stop it or make any arrests unless the protest disturbed other students or workers inside buildings, or damaged property.
Walking back down McLaughlin drive, protesters stopped at the humanities quad entering the humanities lecture hall and adjacent buildings. They then attempted to enter Cowell dinning hall but were blocked by dining hall workers.
On their way out of Cowell College, Gary Roe, a grounds person at Cowell, gave the protesters some advice: “Go to Sacramento, talk to Schwarzenegger,” he said.
“It’s a great cause,” said Roe, “[but] time can be better spent going to the source.”