Although the police must suppress the violence of some demonstrators, they are not necessarily personally opposed to the demonstration's goals. Furthermore, many of the police officers may once have been students themselves, not so long ago.
The students are portrayed as acting in a way that is injurious to the campus community and to the community at large -- by disrupting classes, for example, and blocking state highways. However, they are a part of the community the police are sworn to protect. The police actions may also be designed to protect the demonstrating students just as much as other members of the community, although the article suggests that the outside world must be protected from the students.
Republicans vs. Democrats
Republicans are portrayed as being more supportive of the reductions than Democrats, although both parties are struggling with the need to make budget cuts. The Republican governor is said to reject the necessary cuts, while the Democratic representatives are attempting to use selective tax increases to prevent the cuts that will result in higher tuition, larger class sizes, and an increased college tuition burden upon California's middle class. However, both parties have an interest, presumably, in coming together and mitigating the harms that will result from budget cuts, given the likely unpopularity of the measure.
Politicians vs. The people:
Politicians are instating unpopular cuts to accomplish a goal that is quite abstract to many Californians, namely the need to balance the state budget. Politicians are being portrayed as working 'against' the people by either cutting school funding or raising taxes (or both). However, politicians are not above the law. They must live in the state and live with the consequences of their actions. The people elect politicians and can vote them out of office if sufficiently mobilized to do so.
Question c: Text deconstruction
"On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican in his last year of office, said the layoffs and reductions in courses carried out by some schools in the state were "terrible." The bottom line, he said, was that 'they need much more money.'"
Interestingly, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is merely referred to as a lame-duck Republican governor. His celebrity status is unremarked upon, as is the fact that he came to power after a recall of the former governor. The failure to reference his famous movie roles in films such as the Terminator increases his sense of credibility as a career politician who is seriously and genuinely upset at being forced to make such cuts. Schwarzenegger promised change but realizing his vision has been hampered, if not entirely stymied, by the fiscal constraints imposed by the needed budget crisis.
It is unclear what Schwarzenegger means by saying that the layoffs and reductions are 'terrible.' Is it terrible that the cuts were made, or terrible that the state schools are so reliant upon state funding, and school districts and universities are so bloated in terms of their bureaucracies? Or is it terrible that schools are the necessary victims of the budget crisis? Did the governor wish the cuts to have been imposed in a different fashion but could not summon the political will to do so? Saying that they are 'terrible' suggests a strange distance between the governor and his behavior, even though he was responsible for the cuts. Schwarzenegger's sentence construction is passive and distanced, rather than active in nature. He also states that "they [the schools] need much more money" as if he is a detached and sympathetic observer, rather than someone who had a role in bringing about the reductions or had the power to stop the reductions from occurring.
The phrase "they need much more money" is interesting as well because it does not imply any additional aid, even though there is a conceded need for more funding. The governor does not offer a plan for coping with the pain caused by the budget crisis. Perhaps because of his 'lame duck' status he is less motivated to provide aid, the article implies. There is also a certain implication, however, of helplessness in general, as if the Governor regrets what he believes he must do, but can see no way out of his predicament.