Friday, November 20, 2009

California Students Protest. Ya Know? The Kids Are Alright.

Not since the days since the Vietnam War era have I seen protests on college campuses like we're witnessing in California after regents for the University of California voted Thursday to hike student fees by a whopping 32 percent.

On average, students will pay $2,600 per year more to attend any of the ten U of C campuses throughout the state. Some of those schools, like U of C Berkley, world-famous as a research institution, will certainly cost a lot more.

Students are covering their faces with bandanas, wielding protest signs and staging sit-ins on many of the campuses today. Berkley alum and long-time professors must be giddy! Oh the glory days of the Vietnam protests! Oh the vintage memories of days gone by when social responsibility mobilized grass roots messages of dissent.

Arrests are being made and there are reports that some protestors have been tazed, bro. With all the hoopla I'm sure that all roads leading west into California are clogged tonight as Deadheads (and some confused Dave Matthews hangers-on) slowly feel their way through the night to rendezvous with their hippie brethren (sistern?)to participate. Could this coming week see a gathering of social conscience akin to 40 years ago on Max Yasgur's dairy farm near Woodstock, New York?

It's heartening to see Generation Y, and other Millenials reach back and take a page from their grandparents' playbook. Civil disobedience used to be a mainstay on campuses decades ago and it surprises me that today's students aren't more active in making their opinions known. Blogs, YouTube posts and tweets just can't punctuate your outrage as much as calling your roommates from the pokey, after you've been cuffed and booked for civil disobedience.

After surfing the net and watching this story unfold, I gotta tell ya, the kids are alright.

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