Day Of Action: TOP MOMENTS

Though yesterday's California-born Day of Action to Defend Public Education became a national event, activity was anchored in the Golden State. The state saw a bevy of protests large and small, wild and peaceful. Here's a rundown of definitive moments from what's been called the most significant student movement in 40 years.

Berkeley Students Take Over Highway

In a word, Berkeley's protest smoldered, becoming hotter and hotter as the day went on. What began as a human wall of approximately 60 students and staff turned into a massive traveling organism of ralliers that spanned seven city blocks. While many of those protesters marched five miles to another protest at Oakland City Hall, more than 150 took a turn for Highway 980 and sat in its lanes, stopping traffic for 45 minutes. According to CNN, 160 were arrested.

UC Santa Cruz Shut Down

Protesters at Santa Cruz starting the day early at 5:45 a.m. PST, effectively shutting down campus by blocking its two entrances. Campus police released a statement at 7:45 a.m. warning people not to come to the school. The protesters kept up momentum through the night, and City on a Hill Press reports that activity may continue today.

Bay Area Flooded

The Bay Area hosted the most protesters, with reports of up to 10,000 college, high school, middle school and elementary students -- along with parents and teachers -- turning out across the city to march, chant and rally. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger responded to protesters, saying that he wanted "a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that higher education received more funding than the state's prison system."

Police Skirmishes In Davis

Davis saw some intense student-police confrontation. The California Aggie captured a picture of a cop holding what appears to be a stun gun to a student's neck. Another student, identified as Laura Morrison, was dragged away from the protest by her wrists.

San Francisco State Starts And Ends With Dance Parties

San Francisco State kicked of the Day of Action the night before with a 200-person dance party on campus, replete with graffiti and firecrackers. After the sun rose, students and teachers blocked off a busy intersection, cheering and chanting. The day closed with more dancing on campus. Check out the Golden Gate [X] Press for audio and video from the protest.

UC Riverside Goes Red

Red was the official color of the Day of Action, but no student body owned the color as well as UC Riverside's, which turned the lawn around the school's bell tower crimson during a noon protest.

UC President Mark Yudof's Statement

The social media-savvy figurehead of the UC system did not make an appearance at any of the protests, but he did issue a statement on his Facebook page -- later posted on UC's official site -- cheering students on. "My heart and my support are with everybody and anybody who wants to stand up for public education. I salute those who are making themselves heard today in a peaceful manner on behalf of a great cause," he wrote.

Capitol Costumes
Sacramento Bee Reporter Laurel Rosenhall was at the Capitol taking pictures of the uniquely bedecked protesters, devils and dogs among them. Approximately 500 convened in Sacramento in what has been described as a "quiet and peaceful" demonstration.

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