by Luke Wigren, ’11
At 6:10pm on Monday, March 5th, I sat in a hallway of the California State Capitol risking arrest and contemplating the importance of education, civil rights, and my own immediate personal freedom. The Capitol had just officially closed for the day and, for a few brief minutes between chants of “education should be free” and nonviolent resistance training, a weighted hush hung over the chessboard-checkered floor.
All around me, whispering, were 100 students from over a dozen state schools, community colleges, and several high schools. A few legal observers, as well as a handful of teachers and one mother also risking arrest, stood guard along the wall. What we were doing – trespassing on state property – we all knew to be illegal.
I asked a Berkeley student next to me if she was going to stay once the police issued a dispersal order. She wasn’t sure yet. She didn’t want her mom to find out, and then added nervously that this would be her first arrest. I said it would be mine, too. We held a brief smile despite the pressing circumstances.
After a daylong people’s assembly inside the Capitol, discussing what to do about the distressing and increasingly unaffordable state of California public higher education, we were all exhausted. Continue reading