Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 12, 2010

Schools take part in Day of Action

Efforts, some peaceful and others not, were to support education funding

In the 30 minutes before school started last Thursday, Pleasanton teachers, classified staff, administrators and parents -- and even many students -- joined the statewide effort to support public education.

Called the "Day of Action," it was a nationwide effort to protest against cuts to education. Although the demonstrations were peaceful and lasted about an hour in Pleasanton, the protests were louder and more aggressive in other parts of the Bay Area.

Demonstrators got an early start at UC Santa Cruz, where protesters gathered to block both entrances to the campus, canceling most classes. By late Thursday afternoon, the west entrance to the campus had reopened as demonstrators convened to discuss possible solutions the funding cuts.

While Thursday's events were mostly peaceful, an incident off campus was reported where students allegedly broke the rear windshield of a car attempting to break through a picket line.

In Oakland, an estimated 2,000 people, including some who came from an earlier rally in Berkeley, attended a peaceful rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza near 14th Street and Broadway.

However, an estimated 150 people were arrested Thursday evening after a splinter group broke away from the larger protest and took to Interstate 880 and 980, Oakland police said.

Additionally, one protester was seriously injured.

In Contra Costa County, a large group of students held a rally at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. The demonstrators had a band, made speeches and marched through the campus, but the rally remained peaceful.

Emily West and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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