SOC continues protest into late evening
About 15 protesters from the Student Organizing Committee gathered on the Santa Monica College quad Monday night while a small group of campus police watched from benches nearby. The SOC planned on camping at the college, but found their plan foiled by manure, which had been spread on the meeting place by groundskeepers at the college. Sprinklers were then activated and remained on throughout the day.
A call to the facilities office confirmed that the manure was fresh. “We didn’t have any idea that they were protesting; it was a coincidence,” said Director of Facilities J.C. Saunders-Kerujian.
But many student protesters, including Associated Students President Harrison Wills, didn’t accept the explanation given by groundskeepers. “People are going to start seeing what is really going on here,” Wills says. “The administration is showing that they don’t care about the student’s voices.”
AS Presidential candidate Parker Jean also appeared with protesters Monday night and spoke about his campaign slate, “Paradigm Shift.”
“We need to capture the momentum from the protests to affect change in a bigger way,” he said.
The protesters exchanged ideas under lamp light, and wrote slogans on the concrete with chalk. One writing was accompanied by an arrow pointing to the police, and said, “Your fees go to their bacon, those pigs have been getting paid to intimidate us.”
The SOC were able to erect one tent that was confiscated by campus police at around 2 p.m. According to campus police, the owner claimed it earlier this evening without disciplinary action.
Camping at certain public places in Santa Monica is prohibited by a municipal code which names SMC specifically.
The college officially closes tonight at 10:30, when the SMPD is expected to ask the protesters to leave.