News From the Big Top

After the original list of bizarre ideas was trimmed, it appears the California Teachers Association settled for traditional rallies, sit-ins and sing-alongs. Oakland, of course, is the outlier, with a flash mob planned for Thursday, along with an exhortation for people to close their Wells Fargo bank accounts.

The CTA protesters and the Sheehan protesters are co-existing – a little uneasily, as a silent CTA march to the Capitol turned into noisy chanting from the Sheehan crowd. And the group that occupied the rotunda apparently had a few differences of opinion as well, as this video from the San Francisco Chronicle shows:Sixty-five protesters were arrested after repeatedly refusing to leave the building. During the arrests, the crowd chanted in tribute to Rick Hess:The Orange County Register added these details:

Dozens of college students, apparently protesting in solidarity with teachers, have crowded into the first floor hallway outside Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, where it’s a bit cramped and clearly starting to get smelly.

Among the college students was a hostile and paranoid group from Santa Cruz, some of whom wore red arm bands. An Orange County Register reporter tried to ask them what the arm bands stood for, but they accused him of being “very sketchy” and of being a spy for the government despite his clearly visible press credentials.

Gregory Vickrey of Peace of the Action complained about the arrests. “It’s an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars, which is why we’re here in the first place,” he said. Outgoing CTA President David Sanchez also is concerned about the taxpayer. “It’s not right that the rich and big businesses don’t pay their fair share of taxes,” he said.

Both Peace of the Action and CTA are tax-exempt organizations.

Even some lefties are less than sanguine about the effect of the Capitol kabuki, though the New York State United Teachers thought it was worth a try.

According to NEA, New York spent $17,750 per-pupil this year.

Let’s finish with a Quote of the Day: 

“We’re not just here to lobby. We’re here to raise some hell.” – Betty Olson-Jones, president of the Oakland Education Association. (May 10 Sacramento Bee)