Cal State, UC Students Protest Budget Cuts
As major Occupy movements are encountering growing hostility from city officials, many demonstrations have shifted to college campuses.
Students and Faculty at California State University are protesting Tuesday ahead of the possible budget cuts that the Board of Trustees are set to vote over on Wednesday.
If passed, the new budget will raise student fees $498, a 9 percent increase.
Trustees will also be voting on a proposal that asks the state for $2.4 billion in funding next year. If the full amount is granted, the board will not have to implement the tuition hike.
Other items up for vote are the institution of mandatory twice-monthly furlough days for faculty and staff, and the reduction of student services and the number of classes offered.
Dozens of students and professors at University of California, Berkeley gathered Tuesday at an outdoor plaza to protest the hikes in student tuition and to continue the protests that were shut down last week.
Student protesters attempted to occupy a classroom building last Friday, but were eventually interrupted by police with batons.
Forty-one people were arrested after barricading themselves in Wheeler Hall.
Outside the building, a rally grew until it included hundreds of students and union activists.
The university responded with an attempt to enforce the ban on camping on school property.
UC Regents canceled their Wednesday meeting after police tipped them off earlier this week that the peaceful Occupy-esque demonstrations may turn violent due to the influence of rogue protesters.
After Occupy Oakland's camp was shut down Monday, police suspect that some of those protesters will infiltrate the growing movements on California campuses.
Occupy Wall Street tweeted a shout out to youth movements that included UC Berkeley: OccupyWallStNYC "From #Harvard to #UCBerkeley, the youth are rising up."
The ReFund California Coalition, a state-wide organization that is backing student movements, released a statement on their website, saying that over 10,000 students across 14 California campuses held protests last week alone.
ReFund CA commented specifically on UC Berkeley's Board of Regents decision to postpone the meeting, calling it "outrageous," and a dismissal of "the serious efforts of thousands of students and other peaceful demonstrators."
"'The UC Regents' decision to cancel their meeting wastes a huge opportunity for the UC community to engage in dialogue about how to make the 1% pay to re-fund the public education and all Californians instead of more cuts," ReFund CA said in a statement.
Refund CA sent a letter to the members of the boards of California's state and community colleges asking them to sign a pledge that meets five demands, including: increasing income tax on the wealthiest Californians, a federal sales tax on Wall Street financial transactions, and a reduction of underwarter mortgage debt.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.