NOTE: I only had a few minutes to post this yesterday, but I want those reading to know that I’m trying to reach UAPD to find out what’s up with this, since, obviously, the e-mail below only tells one side if the story. I do, however, stand by the contention that sidewalk chalk does not translate into spray paint, weapons, hate speech, etc.
This just in, courtesy of a UA faculty member. Sidewalk chalk? Really? Here’s the link for the group spearheading today’s protests, and here’s the press release they sent out re: the sidewalk chalk bandit:
TUCSON – A University of Arizona graduate student was arrested and charged
with “criminal damage” and “disturbing an educational institution” for
using sidewalk chalk today at a pro-education rally on campus.
More than 150 faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students gathered for a
noontime rally at the university to protest cuts to public education in the
State of Arizona. As members of the U of A marching band played “Bear Down
Arizona”, demonstrators held signs and made chalk outlines of “bodies”
in front of the administration building, with slogans like “Death by a
Million Cuts”, “Edu-cide”, and “Stop Student Sacrifice”.
Jacob Miller, a first-year master’s student, was arrested by police as he was
leaving the rally. Police told Miller that the order to arrest him came
“from higher up.”
Said Miller “the administration has said that they want people to get involved
and dialogue concerning the budget situation. But now they are penalizing me
for speaking out. And all I did was to use sidewalk chalk.”
The rally, organized by Arizona for Education, was part of a university-wide day
of action in support of education that also included teach-ins and other
educational events. Last year, the university took a $77 Million cut and is
expected to take a cut between $18 and $25 Million this year. The day of
action was organized in support of the state-wide walkouts organized today
throughout the University of California system, where campuses are also facing
dramatic budget cuts.
Arizona for Education is a coalition of students, faculty and staff as well as
members of the Tucson community concerned about cuts to university education
As of 2 pm all chalk had been removed from the sidewalks in front of the
university administration building.