Thursday, May 26, 2005

10,000 Protest, the Bee notices

Thousands protest governor's plans

A Capitol rally by teachers, nurses, other unions is among the largest in recent years.

By Alexa H. Bluth -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Bee got it right this time.

Thousands of protesters from across Northern California blanketed the south lawn of the state Capitol on Wednesday in a mammoth gathering to accuse Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of turning his back on middle-class workers with his budget and ballot initiatives.
The event drew busloads of teachers, nurses, firefighters, prison guards and other union members on a searing afternoon for a protest that ranked among the largest in recent years.

"It sends the message that there are a lot of people who are really concerned about what he is doing to the state," said Bill Jacks, a physical education teacher at Hemlock Elementary School in Vacaville.

Around him, protesters wearing union T-shirts and toting signs listened to union leaders speak and even sing out against the Republican governor. At times, the crowd chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Schwarzenegger's got to go."

Organizers furiously handed out bottles of water and granola bars to the crowds of people jammed together in the 90-degree weather. Paramedics helped at least three people who were overcome by the heat.

A crowd of at least 10,000 - organizers claimed more than 20,000 - collected in Sacramento. Thousands also held a similar protest in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
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