Day of Action sweeps across California

Along with the Nov. 9 Day of Action on the UC Berkeley campus, 10 other demonstrations took place Wednesday at college campuses throughout the state.

The statewide protests were intended to mark the beginning of a week of protests leading up to the meetings of the CSU Board of Trustees and UC Board of Regents Nov. 16.

The various protests at UCs, CSUs and a community college involved several marches, demonstrations outside banks and the arrest of 11 UCLA students, according to The Daily Bruin. The largest protests were held at UC Berkeley and UC Irvine,  each attracting more than 1,000 demonstrators.

#occupycal: Read complete Daily Cal coverage

The day’s events were largely organized by ReFund California, a group hoping to increase higher education funding through new taxes and other means, according Charlie Eaton, a UC Berkeley graduate student and financial secretary of UAW Local 2865 — a union representing more than 12,000 graduate student workers in the UC system and one of the main organizers of the protest. Protests also took place Tuesday with demonstrations at California State University, Fresno, and California State University, Sacramento.

Despite the unified organization, campuses experienced varying levels of participation. UC Berkeley and UC Irvine had the largest attendance, with over 1,000 protesters, while organizers at UC San Diego said only about 50 attended. Participation also fluctuated on CSU campuses, with estimates of over 500 protesters at CSU Fresno and 200 at California State University, San Diego.

According to Eaton, ReFund California organizers expected that more than 10,000 people would participate throughout the state, but it could not be verified if they met this goal.

Much like the Occupy movement, with which ReFund California is associated, the individual protests differ in their methods but share a similar goal of increasing funding for higher education through increased corporate taxes.

Over 200 protesters at UCLA held an assembly with several speakers and then marched down Westwood Boulevard and demonstrated outside of a Bank of America, according to student organizer Erin Conley. A crowd half that size assembled on the UC Davis campus, but those protesters only heard speakers, according to Axel Borg, University Council-American Federation of Teachers vice president for legislation.

The 200 protesters that gathered at UC Riverside demonstrated outside of a state assembly member’s office after marching, said John Gust, unit chair of United Auto Workers Local 2865.

Despite the differences in size of the demonstrations, there are plans for all campuses involved in the Nov. 9 Day of Action to protest on Nov. 16 — campuses in the northern half of the state will demonstrate at the regents’ meeting at UC San Francisco, while the southern campuses plan to attend the CSU Trustees’ meeting in Long Beach.

Protests are planned to continue throughout the week leading up to these meetings, though much of what will happen in the coming week will be decided by the protesters themselves, leading to little advanced planning.

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  • Being such amazingly intelligent people, I’m sure that the staff, faculty, and students at California’s excellent centers for higher education can answer these simple questions, as they directly apply to ReFund California’s first goal in “Increasing income taxes on California’s wealthiest.” 

    1. Please explictly define, what is the “FAIR SHARE” that California’s wealthiest taxpayers should pay? Please be specific. 

    2. Which state ALREADY has the nation’s second highest marginal tax rate? 

    3. Which fraction of taxpayers pays the 94% majority of Personal Income Tax in California? (94%?, 67%? 50%?, 33%?)

    4. Tax increases in California generally require a 2/3rds majority to pass.  What fraction of California’s General Fund is paid by income taxes from the bottom 67%?  From the top 33?  Is someone not paying their “fair share”?

    5. Unlike the federal government and many of our international and domestic competitors, did you know that California ALREADY applies the so-called “Buffet Test” and taxes capital gains exactly like ordinary income?   Did you know that this policy leads to massive swings in state revenue (revenue volatility)?

    6. Which minority group ALREADY pays a significantly higher effective income tax rate than the majority of other Californians? 

    7. Do California’s high taxes help or hurt California’s business climate? Where does California rank nationally among states with the least-favorable business climates? 

    8. What impact do a poor business climate and high taxes have on unemployment? Do you think it helps generate more tax revenue, or does it decrease tax revenues? 

    9. What impact to falling tax revenues have on public employees? Does it help or hurt wages? Does it help or hurt unemployment? Does it help or hurt funding for education?  Does it help or hurt funding for social services?

    10. Compared to other states, is California’s unemployment rate higher or lower? Where do we rank nationally? 

    I know that it’s a long list and requires considered, critical thinking, but please try to answer Question 1. 

    Extra Resources: 

    Who Pays Their “Fair Share” in California? 

    The Oppressive Progressive Income Tax: California Edition 

    American Federation of Teachers: Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

    • There you go, asking intelligent questions. You do realize that will only make the unwashed unemployable 20-somethings angry, right?

  • Sponsored by ReFund California, huh?

    Who is ReFund California and what do they want?

    Which ReFund California member organization pushed for relaxed lending standards for unqualified home buyers, thus inflating the subprime mortgage bubble and driving up home prices for low-income buyers?

    Which ReFund California member organization were themselves the beneficiary of a massive bailout from the federal government?

    Which ReFund California member organization has a seeming vendetta against Bank of America? Could it be because they owe tens of millions of dollars from Bank of America?

    Which ReFund California member organizations are the top two spenders in California politics, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)?

    Which ReFund California member organization is one of the key architects behind the Occupy Wall Street movement?

    Why is ReFund California’s top policy goal counterproductive for California?

  • Public Interest

    Every oil producing state in the union – except CA – taxes oil revenue and puts some portion of those tax proceeds toward funding public education.
    Yes, even Sarah Palin’s Alaska does this.

    • Guest


      But these dumb kids don’t want to tax oil, they want to get rid of Prop 13 so they can get a free college education off the backs of homeowners.

      • Guest

        There were signs at UC Irvine that said, “TAX OIL FOR EDUCATION”. Dumb kids!

    • Anonymous

      Sure we can tax oil.  Oil companies would never raise oil prices to offset those taxes.  And California’s economy would never suffer from higher gasoline prices, since the 99% don’t own cars and eat only what they personally grow.