March 7, 2012
Some 70 college student protesters were arrested after refusing to leave the Capitol building premises in Sacramento on Monday, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The California Highway Patrol was in charge of security at the scene. According to the Los Angeles Times, about 200 students entered the rotunda of the Capitol building as part of a movement being aptly called "Occupy the Capitol." These students stayed inside the Capitol for approximately seven hours. Many were later arrested after 7:30 p.m. on charges of trespassing after being told multiple times by CHP to vacate the premises, reported The Daily Californian.
It was estimated that between 8,000 to 15,000 students, educators, and supporters made the trek to Sacramento as part of the day-long rally, according to the UC Berkeley News Center. Protesters covered the Capitol grounds, shouting out chants or holding up signs, some of which read: "I missed class today because it was cut" or "This is what democracy looks like," according to The Orion.
Students and supporters gathered to protest the rising cost of tuition, which has reportedly tripled at California universities during the last decade. Additionally, funding for the University of California and Cal State University systems was cut by 23 percent last year when the budget was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. UC Berkeley News Center also reported that the state's 10-campus university system saw $750 million in cuts last year and that the the $2.9 billion that came in from student tuition and fees exceeded the $2.5 billion that came in through the state.
"We're getting pushed against a wall," Carson Watts, a 23-year-old sociology major at UC Santa Cruz, told the Los Angeles Times.
In fact, a report by a Bay Area News Group released the same day showed that middle-income students attending a California State University or University of California school actually pay more than if they were attending a private institution such as Harvard College, Mercury News reported.
"What's happening in the last year is that people are waking up," Gordon Hall, a College of Alameda student, told Mercury News.
More than 50 students and educators from UC Berkeley attended the day-long rally, many arriving by bus.
"Students, faculty, staff, administrators -- we are all on the same side in wanting to maintain a strong university, and there was real consensus among the deans that taking the bus to Sacramento today would be a good thing to do," said Kim Voss, Berkeley's acting dean of social sciences, as quoted by the UC Berkeley News Center.
Compiled by Maggie O'Neill
"Activists Protest Education Cuts at Capitol; About 70 Arrested," latimes.com, March 6, 2012, Chris Megerian
"At least 72 Protesters Arrested in March 5 Occupation of State Capitol Building," dailycal.org, March 6, 2012, Damian Ortellado and Amruta Trivedi
"Protesters Facing Off With CHP in Capitol Rotunda Over Higher Ed Costs," mercurynews.com, March 6, 2012, Steven Harmon and Matt Krupnick
"Rally Rails Lawmakers," theorion.com, March 7, 2012, Natalie Leesa
"Students Rally in Sacramento Against Public-Education Cuts," newscenter.berkeley.edu, March 6, 2012, Roibin O hEochaidh