By Alexa Lomberg, Alexandria Love & Sydney Moorhead
It was just after 6 a.m. when the first arrest was made. Union leader Josh Brahinsky was the first arrested by police in riot gear. An hour later, 19 more students — 13 undergraduates and six graduate students — were handcuffed and escorted to Santa Cruz County Jail for blocking roads and UCSC’s West entrance, disobeying police and continuing to riot. In addition to the three misdemeanors and one infraction, Brahinsky was charged with resisting arrest.
These arrests on April 2 were part of the United Auto Workers (UAW) 2865 strike for various grievances. UAW 2865 is comprised of undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants and tutors. Union member and graduate student Brian Malone articulated reasons why a settlement needs to be reached.
“We’re striking statewide because of patterns of intimidation, threatening with arrests, threatening international students with the loss of their visa and threatening our members with firing,” Malone said.
Despite arrests early in the morning, the number of strikers increased throughout the day, with 50 people present at the East entrance around 10 a.m., growing to around 150 in the early afternoon.
UAW plans to continue the strike tomorrow and increase student turnout.