Dozens Arrested in California Education Protests

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A day of boisterous protests over cuts to higher education that included thousands of students swarming the state Capitol ended with dozens of arrests after demonstrators refused to leave the building.

Authorities on Monday evening arrested 68 people, most of whom will be charged with trespassing, the California Highway Patrol said. Four people were arrested earlier in the day.

Police started pulling out protesters who remained in the Capitol rotunda around 7:30 p.m., more than an hour after they began warning them with a bullhorn to leave.

Protesters chanted "We're doing this for your kids," as one by one they were lifted by the arms, handcuffed with plastic ties, and led away.

Students angry over steep tuition increases and fewer courses at California's public universities and colleges waved signs and chanted, "They say cut back; we say fight back."

Tuition has nearly doubled in the past five years, to $13,000 for resident undergraduates at University of California schools and to $6,400 at California State University schools. Community college fees are set to rise to $46 per unit by this summer, up from $20 per unit in 2007.

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