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As UC Regents Approve Major Tuition Hike, Students, Faculty Decry Erosion of Public Education in CA and Nationwide

by via Democracy Now
Friday, November 20, 2009 :Amid thousands of student protesters and armed police standing guard, the University of California's Board of Regents has approved a 32 percent increase in student fees. The vote will bring the total cost of a UC education to more than $10,000 dollars per year for the first time. We discuss the protests and the growing privatization of public education with UCLA student activist Zen Dochterman and the president of the UC American Federation of Teachers, Bob Samuels.
Amid thousands of student protesters and armed police standing guard, the University of California’s Board of Regents approved a 32 percent increase in student fees on Thursday.

A crowd of about 2,000 protesters, including students and labor union activists from across UC campuses, faced a large force of police in riot gear outside UCLA’s Covel Commons, where the regents met. The 21 regents approved the fee hikes with little debate. Only student regent Jesse Bernal voted against the increase.

After the vote, some of the regents were trapped inside as students protested outside the building and all over campus, marching in the streets and in lecture halls. The demonstrations were part of a systemwide strike to protest the fee increases, which will bring the total cost of a UC education to more than $10,000 dollars per year for the first time.

Early Thursday morning, students from UCLA and other UC campuses barricaded themselves inside Campbell Hall and occupied the building. They renamed it “Carter-Huggins Hall” in honor of two Black Panthers who were shot and killed in the building during a Black Student Union meeting in 1969.

Bob Samuels, president of the University of California, American Federation of Teachers. He runs the blog Changing Universities.

Zen Dochterman, UCLA Student taking part in the protests.

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