Monday, May 02, 2005

Police Beat Students at UCSC

Over 80 student protesters are reported wounded by Riot Police and 19 students were arrested, according to phone interviews with two "Tent University" organizers at UC Santa Cruz.

"Students had numerous bruises and contusions. And figures I heard were 20 arrested and 80 wounded. My girlfriend caught a baton to the chest unprovoked. And numerous people witnessed a cop go into a frenzy and basically dive forward into the crowd with a baton and that's how my girlfriend caught a baton," Indigo Moonstar, 23, a recent graduate of UCSC, said. Moonstar is not his real name, but this is the name he also gave to the Associated Press.

The seemingly pointless arrests and acts of state violence occurred because of the University's concern the students were violating the "No Camping Ordinance."

The students had set up a Tent University to protest student fee increases as well as the exploitation of AFSCME service workers. The Tent University, which was conducted all this week, April 18-22, included workshops on such topics as environmental sustainability, nonviolent activism, social justice, politics, and even yoga.

The arrests on Monday, April 18, prevented the students from holding Tent University at the base of campus during evening hours for the rest of the week like they had originally planned, but the daytime events proceeded without incident.

"For one, that's the most traumatizing thing I've ever been through in my life," Austin Harless, 21, a student organizer at UCSC, said. "Myself and others have been changed. The effects have been extremely pervasive."

"It's causing a lot of us to question our lives," Harless said.

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