Gators march to CCSF in protest of budget cuts
The Postman will carry his mail through sleet and snow, rain and hail, to get it to it’s destination, but mailmen have nothing on agitated college students protesting massive budget cuts.
A group of approximately 100 students and faculty trekked through light-yet-constant rain in an almost two mile march from Cesar Chavez Student Center to the City College of San Francisco. The group departed from SF State around 1 p.m. and walked in a large and shuffling line through Junipero Serra Boulevard, following Ocean Avenue all the way to CCSF.
As a constant event of movement and sound, chants were blasted through megaphones by members of Students For Quality Education, a group working for efficiency in education, and were repeated to energized line of protesters. Such chants included “No cuts, no fees, education should be free,” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Budget cuts need to go.”
Marisa Soski, 20, biology major at SF state and member of SQE, said that this cause was important because students are being ignored.
“We as a student body are not happy,” Soskii said. “We do not agree with the decisions that are being made, and we aren’t being represented in these decisions.”
Through the rain, students carried signs as a stream of caution tape held by volunteers separated them from the road, and police stopped traffic when protesters crossed the street.
Every student had their own reason for marching, whether it was the impending budget cuts or a broader-scale problem such as US imperialism. Either way, students felt that the turn out could have been greater.
“I’m marching to get more awareness,” said Fernando Cervantes, 20, international relations major at SF state. “ I think if people knew a little more about the issue then we could get people like neighbors and citizens to participate.”
Once at CCSF the marchers were met with a handful of extra marchers and several speakers. Jeremy Miller, co-director of Education Not Incarceration, a non-profit group fighting for student rights, had impassioned words to pass on to marchers.
“ Do not let anyone else lead this charge because this is your movement,” Miller said. “ This money is yours and you need to stay in the street and speak until you get it back.”
“Diamond Dave”, 73, an elected senator of CCSF for four years, also supplied food for all the marchers including spaghetti as part of a program he entitles “Food not Bombs.” Through food, he hopes to change the world one bread roll at a time.
“People need to be fed, otherwise it’s just like the rest of the world, and you’re just taking from people,” Dave said.
Diamond Dave said that marching was just the start of potentially great changes to come.
“I feel like a revolution starts here, and a new society will form in the husk of the old,” Dave said. “Strangers become friends, friends become family, family becomes community, and when a community gets moving, then that is movement”