Dead bodies blocked the path through Falcon Square Tuesday.
On behalf of Action in Defense of Education, Cerritos College student organizations, including M.E.Ch.A. and FMLA, held a Die-In.
At the count of 10, members of A.I.D.E. fell to the ground and lay still for 10 minutes, defying police and the blazing sun.
“It’s ok, but you need to get these people off the middle and move them to the side,” Angel Castillo, Cerritos College police officer, said to Marcela Sadler, peace and conflict major, who stood holding a sign.
According to Simau Tuiali’i the Die-In is supposed to symbolize the death of education in California, as reflected by the current fee increases from $11 to $26, and by future hikes and budget cuts.
The bodies remained motionless, with the exception of M.E.Ch.A. member, Bardo Martinez, Latin American studies major, who stood up and spoke to Castillo.
Castillo again reiterated that they should move to the side, but Martinez explained that there were only two minutes left.
The demonstration began with Tuiali’i imitating a siren as he passed through the tables set up outside the library for the Transfer Center’s College Fair.
If the siren didn’t catch the attention of the many onlookers, then the chants of “No more budget cuts!” must have, as the group quickly gained an audience.
“I was just wondering what was going on,” Marco Lopez, art history major, said.
“Everyone has an opinion…but I don’t have one either way. I don’t know what they are talking about.”
Some students did have an opinion however.
“This is very rude…I want to get through,” Giuliano Depieria, political science major, said.
He did however agree with the tactics taken.
“At least they are using their freedom of speech and they are not getting violent, because that is when these things get out of hand.”
Despite any disagreements Tuiali’i felt the demonstration went well.
“We just wanted to raise awareness and we made an impact,” he said.Sadler agreed, “We stopped the normal business.”
However, even consenters doubted the impact.
“It’s good,” said Laura Lopez, broadcast major, “they should take it out to the streets so that people know what’s going on.
Business major Luis Villa felt a different approach altogether would be more effective.
“I agree with what they are fighting for, but they need to be more realistic.
“They should meet with the Board of Education.”
Tuiali’i felt that even if they didn’t make a very big impact they were preparing for an even bigger action.
“This is just to get the word out for the statewide walkout on April 20.”
“We are not alone,” said Martinez, “the same thing is happening at Cal State Long Beach, UC San Diego and everywhere throughout the state.”
“Education is not a privilege, it is a right.”