About 50 protesters marched to the UC Santa Cruz Police Department on Wednesday and were met by over 20 UC police officers in riot gear. The protesters laid two coffins to represent the victims of police violence in front of the officers.
The group gathered at Quarry Plaza for the “Antagonistic Vigil and March,” where protesters expressed their discontent over university privatization, police violence around the world and the increasing presence of police in the city and on campus. Many attended to show solidarity for the students arrested in the protest on Highway 17.
“We wanted to express our support for the six students arrested yesterday, bravely performing civil disobedience,” said one speaker at the rally. “Their cause is our cause.”
UC police officers blocked protesters from entering the department. Speeches were read as officers stood in front of the protesters.
“Ultimately the overcrowding of prisons is like the overcrowding of classrooms,” one protester read. “This is why we must organize for a world not run on profit, and not putting the needs for some over the needs for most. A world that doesn’t attempt to solve problems through the ‘law and order’ approach.”
The coffins were left behind as protesters left the department.
“Time and time again any inkling of student protest is used as an excuse to turn campus into a playground for militarized riot police,” said UCSC student Matt Wranovics.