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UC Protests Against Fee Hikes, Cutbacks Enter Second Day
Yesterday saw a committee of the University of California’s board of regents meet on the UCLA campus to approve huge student fee increases. Hundreds of students protested outside the building, and fourteen were arrested in the meeting itself. UC police used tasers and batons on the crowd while helicopters circled above.
Today will likely be bigger.
Yesterday students across California staged local campus demonstrations in opposition to the regents. A thousand rallied and marched at Berkeley, briefly occupying a building on campus. At Santa Cruz, hundreds sat down in the street to block the campus’s two entrances. Members of several UC labor unions initiated a strike in protest against the regents actions.
Last night students from across California started making their way to Los Angeles.
Yesterday’s protests were local. Today students from around the state are gathering at UCLA for one centralized action. Protesters created a tent city in the center of campus, where students listened to bands and speakers, painted signs, and prepared for this morning’s protests.
It’s a little before six o’clock in the morning in California, but the first news of the day has already broken: about five hours ago, activists occupied Campbell Hall, a building a few hundred yards from the tent city.
8:20 am | The students occupying Campbell Hall have released a statement. They say they will be issuing no demands: “We have to learn not to tip toe through a space which ought by right to belong to everyone.” A post on Indymedia says that thirty-five students are participating in the occupation, and that the occupiers have renamed the building Carter-Huggins Hall, after two Black Panthers who were murdered there in 1969. One report on Twitter says that students from five California campuses are participating in the Campbell Hall occupation.
8:40 am | Reports from yesterday evening suggest that students at UC Santa Cruz were gearing up for an overnight occupation of the Kresge Town Hall on that campus. I haven’t yet seen any updates from UCSC this morning.
8:50 am | The Los Angeles Times has posted photos from the Campbell occupation, including one of a banner declaring it Carter-Huggins Hall. UCLA’s chancellor has released a statement announcing that Campbell Hall will be closed for the day, and asking university community members to “please stay away” from there and Covel Commons.