A few hundred people are now occupying the first floor of the Capitol in Sacramento. A few of our friends from Santa Cruz are there, as evidenced by the following excerpt from the Orange County Register‘s coverage:
Among the college students was a hostile and paranoid group from Santa Cruz, some of whom wore red arm bands. An Orange County Register reporter tried to ask them what the arm bands stood for, but they accused him of being “very sketchy” and of being a spy for the government despite his clearly visible press credentials.
The occupation was originally organized by the California Teachers Association (CTA) in an effort to pressure legislators to increase taxes for the wealthy and large corporations. According to the Chronicle,
While the Democratic governor wants the Legislature to call a special election in order to fulfill his campaign pledge for a statewide vote on the taxes, the powerful teachers union is pushing for the Legislature to forgo a vote of the people and simply pass the taxes on its own.
The action was organized for the week leading up to the release of Jerry Brown’s new education budget, which may include as much as $4 billion in new cuts to public education statewide. Both Brown and UC President Mark Yudof have indicated that if the budget indeed passes, UC tuition could double to more than $20,000. Crazy. That would mean a more than five-fold increase over the past decade.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
The California Highway Patrol has begun arresting protesters at the Capitol, after warning about 65 to leave the building after its 6 p.m. closing.
Continue reading here.
20 of those arrested are UCSC students. They are currently being taken to Sacramento County Jail and could be held until Wednesday. Please call 916 445 2895 or 916 874 6752 to demand for the conditions and release of everyone that has been detained.
Indeed 65 were arrested on the first floor of the rotunda. It sounds like people are being cited and released, though the process took overnight. An initial group of detainees was released at about 3:20 am. For further updates, follow OccupySac’s Twitter feed.