Support the UCSC 6

On March 3rd, six UC Santa Cruz students (the UCSC 6) took to Highway 17 as part of the “96 Hours of Action” against police violence and tuition hikes called across the UC system.

The state of California spends nearly 7 times as much per prison inmate as it does per student. When tuition is raised, as it was last fall by the UC Regents, poor students and students of color, already underrepresented in the UC system, are increasingly pushed out, into the waiting arms of the police and a criminal “justice” system that seems more and more to be a mockery of the very word, as seen most recently and vividly in Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, and McKinney, Texas. These students took this action to stand in solidarity with those across the country and the world who have been fighting against police violence and to connect the struggles faced by students as a group—against skyrocketing tuition and fees and often against crushing long-term debt—to a broader context.

After they were arrested but before they were even booked in jail, the UCSC 6 were served with a letter placing them on an indefinite, interim suspension, one that has continued until now, over 3-and-a-half months later. Those who had been living on campus lost the housing, healthcare, and food they had been relying on, and all were forced to take incompletes in their classes as we were legally banned from all university property. The university is now attempting to suspend the students for 4 quarters, or nearly a year and a half, and has afforded them little to no due process in challenging its rulings, denying the students legal representation and full hearings to challenge the suspensions within the Supreme Court-mandated time. In addition, the university is attempting to impose stayed suspensions on the 6 once they return to school, which serve to prohibit their First Amendment rights to engage in political speech both on and off campus and associate with student activists on campus. Any violation of the stayed suspensions could result in immediate suspension or expulsion from the University.

In addition, the 6 students are facing 30 days in jail along with $40,000 in restitution to pay for the time of nearly 100 police officers, many of whom weren’t even responding to their protest.

The UCSC 6 are now working to raise funds to defray the cost of restitution and to hopefully file civil suit against the university, with the goal of forcing UC Santa Cruz, along with other schools, to change its student code of conduct to disallow such harsh, repressive sanctions against student protest, and to ensure that students are afforded real due process. The movement against tuition hikes is working; in response to pressure from students, UC Pres. Janet Napolitano announced a 2-year in-state tuition freeze, and although the deal is not nearly enough—it leaves the university still unaffordable for many, and pays for the freeze in part by raising out of state tuition—it shows that student protest does have the power to create real change. Your support helps the UCSC 6 to work to ensure the right of all students to act for justice in the future, without facing the kind of harsh, repressive response they are facing.

Donations

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  • Mario Felix 
    • $15 
    • 45 mos
  • Barbara Schliepe 
    • $20 
    • 56 mos
  • Alexandra Batzdorf 
    • $10 
    • 56 mos
  • Thomas Benedict 
    • $100 
    • 56 mos
  • harold hardin 
    • $30 
    • 56 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Amber Vase 
Organizer
Santa Cruz, CA
Ethan Pezzolo 
Beneficiary

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