Small turnout nation-wide for National Day of Protest for Education

Laura Davis

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Students and supporters of the Occupy Education movement gathered Thursday to protest funding cuts in education at dozens of schools and universities across the country.

Demonstrators shut down the UC Santa Cruz campus, according to the San Fransisco Bay Guardian.

But at many other schools, the number of participants for the National Day of Action for Education was less than expected, such as the University of Houston where only 25 to 30 students showed up to protest, according to Occupy Houston organizer Jamin Stocker.

“The main point was to rally students and have a discussion on what the problems are, and then come to some sort of understanding about what we can do to change these issues,” Stocker said.

At the University of Minnesota, about 65 people rallied in front of the main administration building followed by a march around the campus and surrounding streets, according to Students for a Democratic Society member Shannon Nicholson.

“We did have a lot of success building a coalition and getting endorsements by speakers from various student groups, including cultural centers on campus, as well as a couple of faculty members and grad students who are currently trying to unionize,” Nicholson said.

Roughly 150 students gathered on the quad at Humboldt State University to participate in workshops and seminars designed to teach them how to lobby and get involved in student government, according to workshop leader Aaron Wilyer.

“The thing that separated our event from most was the Humboldt Circus performed a fire show to culminate the day,” Wilyer said. “The fire show probably drew more people than the actual event.”

The Occupy Education movement is a branch of Occupy Wall Street and is against the protection of rich corporations, according to the organization’s official website.

Since the event was planned on an external basis by independent groups, some organizers plan on approaching new tactics to promote future Occupy Education events, according to Stocker.

“I think what we could have done better to organize the event was target student groups like sororities and fraternities, get their support, and get the rest of their group members involved,” Stocker said.

For more information on upcoming events and to learn how to get involved in the Occupy Education movement, visit www.occupyed.gov.