More than 6,000 students from Central and Northern California marched on the California Capitol today to demand full funding of education, student debt relief and Tax the Millionaires to pay for it. The impressive demonstration was organized primarily by student associations of the community colleges, the CSU and U.C. campuses in the northern half of the state.
Key legislative leaders addressed the crowd and offered legislation to fund public education- which they can not pass do the constitutional requirement of a 2/3 vote to raise taxes.
There have been many promises of an occupation of the capitol, and the police presence was immense.
Occupy folks have set up a site on the North Side of the Capitol where they held a general assembly and non violence training. The occupy supporters numbered about 75.
Yet a third event today is the planned 5:30 PM rally organized by labor. About 400 attended that rally.
The several unions supporting and funding the Tax the Millionaires signature gathering used an effective strategy which we used in March of 2010 while gathering signatures for the California Democracy Act. They printed several hundred well done posters saying Tax the Millionaires. They went to the student assembly points where thousands were arriving without signs and gave the posters away free. In the march at least one of every six marchers was carrying a Tax the Millionaires sign – an impressive showing. Tax the Millionaires is supported by the California Federation of Teaches (AFT), the California Nurses (CNA) and most recently Moveon. In addition to tabling, some 60 signature gatherers traveled through the crowd to collect signatures of voters.