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65 arrested in teachers' protest at state Capitol

May 9, 2011 |  9:30 pm

The California Highway Patrol arrested 65 protesters in the state Capitol on Monday evening when they refused to leave after the building had closed, said CHP spokesman Sean Kennedy.

The arrests capped the first day in a week of statewide protests planned by the California Teachers Assn., which is opposed to cutbacks in education funding. The weeklong set of events is part of the  union's declaring schools to be in a "State of Emergency."

Kennedy said a permit for a 5 p.m. event in the Capitol rotunda had been issued to the teachers union, but dozens of protesters stayed past the 6 p.m. closing. The majority appeared to be college-age students who passed the time by dancing, he said.

Most teachers exited before arrests began, Kennedy said. A spokeswoman for the teachers union did not immediately return a call for comment.

Kennedy said orders to disperse were given four times before arrests began for trespassing in a public building after hours. He said officers waited half an hour after the building closed to begin making arrests. A few protesters were also being charged with resisting arrest.

All arrests were complete shortly after 8 p.m., he said. Those arrested were being processed and booked at Sacramento County Jail.

-- Shane Goldmacher and Michael Mishak in Sacramento

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