De Anza Students March For Social Causes – 5/12/2008

International Workers’ Day was May 1, and while most De Anza College students went about their normal day, a coalition of clubs led by the Students For Justice spoke out on a wide range of issues such as oppression, immigration and global occupation.

Approximately 50 members of SFJ and students gathered in the L Quad at 11 a.m. with many participants choosing not to attend classes. They marched towards the Main Quad in a parade calling for an end to social injustice.

The demonstrators chanted, in both English and Spanish, “The people united will never be defeated,” a quote made famous during opposition to the dictatorship of the Chilean President Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s and 80s.

In the Main Quad, Pericardium, a local band, set up for a performance at the steps of the Learning Center, but was later told to relocate in front of the Main Quad fountain. W.I.S.E. 37 and the World Peace Buddhist club set up booths by the fountain in support for the demonstration.

The activists turned towards the S Quad and began to call for an end to occupation in different regions of the world. SFJ activists entered classrooms and encouraged students to walk out despite the objections of instructors.

The protestors then began to shout “F*** the police” as they advanced towards the Science Center. Several of the demonstrators swatted the windows in an attempt to get students’ attention, hoping they would be willing to sacrifice a day of class for their cause.

After passing the Science Center, they proceeded to the G Building, entering any room with students and an open door. They entered with a loudspeaker and the SFJ flag to get more students to join in their parade.

The march continued into the Hinson Campus Center, where dining students took a moment to look up at the demonstrators as they exited through the patio door. They passed the Sunken Garden with Foothill-De Anza police looking on.

They continued the march until they arrived back in the L Quad, then continued to the Main Quad and into the Learning Center with loudspeakers. The march ended as the activists chanted their call to action on the steps of the Learning Center and Pericardium began to perform by the fountain.

The remainder of the event was marked by music and spoken word performances as participants in the march declared to a crowd of onlookers the issues that they were protesting against.

Among the marchers was Yujin Yoshimura, a candidate for the position of vice president of administration in the De Anza Associated Student Body, speaking out against budget cuts in education.

Not all onlookers saw the demonstration as peaceful and productive. Some students viewed the event as disruptive to their learning environment and presenting a call to action in a threatening manner.

“I support what they’re doing, but I think they’re going about it the wrong way,” said Britt Parker, a De Anza student. “Protests are peaceful but their signs and actions indicate otherwise.”

Written For La Voz Weekly
5/12/2008
Original Article: De Anza Students March For Social Causes

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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