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UC Santa Cruz classes held online as protest closes campus roads

PIX Now afternoon edition - 5/29/24
PIX Now afternoon edition - 5/29/24 08:02

For the second time in as many weeks, classes at University of California, Santa Cruz are being held online due to a pro-Palestinian protest that is blocking the two main campus entrances.

In a letter to the campus community Tuesday, Chancellor Cynthia Larive said the disruption led to the switch to remote instruction on Wednesday and Thursday.

Larive said when protesters were asked to allow vehicle access to campus, the majority refused and continued to prevent people from coming and going until about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"Not only did demonstrators remain in the roads, they proceeded to barricade and fortify the spaces, reportedly with rocks and glass," she said.

"This is an extremely dangerous effort to cause intentional harm to our campus community unprompted by any action on the part of UC Santa Cruz," Larive said.

A similar situation resulted in campus road closures and remote learning for most of last week as well.

Also, for the past few weeks, the campus has endured other "significant disruptions" at the Physical Sciences Building, dining halls and classrooms, as well as an encampment that moved from Quarry Plaza to the Barn Theater area, she said.

Coinciding with the protest is a strike by roughly 2,000 campus academic workers represented by UAW Local 4811, who have been joined by thousands of UAW workers at different University of California campuses.

The union, which represents 48,000 academic workers across the university system, says it's striking over unfair labor practices related to, among other things, punishments handed down to students and workers involved in the protests that have sprung up at several campuses.

The UC Office of the President views the strike as illegal since the union has a no-strike clause in its contract related to "issues that have no bearing on employment at UC," according to a statement from the university.

Both sides have filed complaints against the other with the California Public Employment Relations Board.

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