Liveblog of updates from yesterdays protests, all over the nation

Live from the day of action

March 4, 2010

Today, students, teachers, faculty, campus workers and community members are making their voices heard–in California and around the country. They’re taking a stand against the ongoing attack on public education at every level, from pre-K through to colleges and universities. readers will contribute their reports, views, pictures and more throughout the day, and will post them here (times are all Pacific time). At 5 p.m. (PST, 8 p.m. on the East Coast and 7 p.m. in the Midwest), we’ll have a live video stream from the San Francisco regional rally against the cuts.

Tens of thousands gathered outside San Francisco's Civic Center at the end of the Day of Action (Josh On | SW)Tens of thousands gathered outside San Francisco’s Civic Center at the end of the Day of Action (Josh On | SW)

6:10 p.m.: In San Francisco, some 20,000 people–and counting!–were pouring into the Civic Center, reported Ragina Johnson and David Russitano.

The crowd is enthusiastic and spirited. Contingents from every school in the district seems to be represented, especially from June Jordan, Balbo and Mission. Many from those high school have been marching all day.

A massive drum circle is keeping the energy up even after hours of marching. The energy is contagious.

Aaron Neimark, a kindergarten teacher from Feinstein Elementary and part of Educators for a Democratic Union who was part of a feeder march, said, “The most powerful thing was leaving school with about 400 students and teachers for our own local march to a rally in a park in the Sunset district.

“We learned a lot in the process of planning since the fall. We wanted to keep people informed as we continue organizing.”

Martha Vigil works at Lincoln High School as security guard, and if the planned cuts go through, could lose an hour of pay every day. “The people who are making the cuts need to walk in our shoes to see what we go through every day,” she said.

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5:50 p.m.: An even larger crowd of some 6,000 people gathered in Northridge, north of Los Angeles, near the campus of Cal State Northridge, according to Rebecca, a student at LA Valley College.

With protesters on the march, police insisted that the demonstration couldn’t take the streets. That prompted more than 1,000 people to walk sit down on Reseda Boulevard and refuse to leave as an act of protest.

Police in riot gear threatened the crowd, with nightsticks out. After a time, the protesters had decided to disperse, but wanted to do so in an orderly way that kept everyone together.

But that wasn’t quick enough for the cops–they waded into the crowd. In the melee, an 80-year-old woman professor was injured when she was reportedly shoved by police, suffering a broken arm. Undeterred, the police started carrying out arrests.

Officers claimed they only arrested six people, but demonstrators thought the number was greater. With night falling, the demonstrators started a march to the detention center to make sure their fellow activists were freed.

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