Three-day student sit-in at Sacramento State ended by police in riot gear

Sacramento Student Sit in

Students at Sacramento State waged a three-day sit-in in the campus administration building beginning April 13, calling on the campus president to commit to a moratorium on new pay and perks for university management and to support legislation for greater transparency and funding for the CSU.

The sit-in was ended forcibly early Saturday morning via a police raid involving officers in riot gear. Students and observers have pointed out that, despite comments by university spokespersons to the contrary, the protestors were non-violent, maintained the sit-in space, and did not damage any public property.

In the days preceding the police removal, however, the students garnered the support of state legislators including State Sen. Leland Yee, who called by speaker phone, and Assemblymembers Anthony Portantino and Richard Pan, who visited the sit-in at Sacramento Hall.

Throughout Thursday and Friday, a constant cycle of classes passed through to talk with students and hear lectures linking the issues affecting public higher education to history and current events. A dance class performed for the protestors. By Friday, students from other campuses all over Northern California were visiting the site.

“The students who occupied the administration building are amazing,” said CFA Sacramento chapter president Kevin Wehr, who teaches sociology. “They developed their own political analysis and moved to take direct action based on what they see going on around the world and in their own backyard.”

He added, “I am proud of watching them stand up to exercise their first amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. They are an inspiration to us all—perhaps if more citizens would stand up to the lunacy coming out of the state capitol building we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

Today (Tuesday, April 19), the students who held the sit-in called for a six-hour vigil in the Library Quad to delivery eulogies and mourn what they deem “the Death of Public Education.”

Learn more at the student web site.

See a video reading of the students’ statement to the news media, made by the Sacramento Bee.