A group of 20 University of California at Santa Cruz students were arrested early Wednesday during a protest outside the campus's two main entrances. Robert Cavooris, a graduate student of political theory who is part of Graduate Student Workers-United, affiliated with the United Auto Workers, said that four graduate student workers on a pre-announced strike were arrested along with 14 undergraduates who were supporting them. Cavooris, who was not arrested, said that at least some of those arrested had been picketing legally, and were not trying to block entrances to campus. They were still being held as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.
Jim Burns, a Santa Cruz spokesman, said that the campus has just two vehicular entrances and that students had been allowed to block one but not the other. Students were arrested based on a variety of charges, including blocking an entrance to a university and failing to disperse. He said only one student resisted arrest.
Graduate student workers across the University of California System had planned to strike Wednesday and today in protest of unfair labor practice claims filed against various campus administrations, including that Santa Cruz had violated labor law by videotaping union activities earlier this academic year. Burns said he was unfamiliar with those claims.