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Rallies against education cuts begin; officials warn against violence

A national day of protests against education funding cuts began Thursday with generally peaceful rallies, walkouts and teach-ins at universities and high schools. But an incident in which demonstrators smashed the windshield of a car trying to enter UC Santa Cruz brought a warning against any other violence.

 At Cal State Dominguez Hills in the Carson area, about 50 students gathered in front of the student union with some shouting "Give My Education Back!" and carrying signs that proclaimed: "From Pre-K to Ph.D., Let Me Go to School." They played a mock “Wheel of Fortune” game with stops that included "graduating in four years with a good education" and "getting a 30% fee increase."

One of the organizers, Kevin Orantes, 23, a junior majoring in public administration and communications, said he became involved because he was upset about the effects of budget cuts on access to education and wanted to leave a better legacy for his own children. "Today’s generation is reaping the benefits of sacrifice that generations before had to accomplish, like civil rights and women’s rights," Orantes said. "If we don’t do anything for the next generation, it will all be in vain."

La-me-protests06_kys3elncChris Morales, 22, a junior majoring in business, said it felt good to be part of a large protest effort, with rallies around the state and nation. "I feel like this is a big movement that might make a difference," he said.

There were reports of some trouble in Northern California as demonstrators decried higher student fees, reduced course offerings and faculty layoffs.

At UC Santa Cruz, more than 200 protesters blocked the two main campus entrances and reportedly smashed a car windshield with a metal pipe, officials said. There was no report of injury to the driver and no arrests were made, although police are investigating the matter. All UC Santa Cruz employees were told not to attempt to drive to campus for the rest of the day.

Campus Provost David Kliger denounced the incident. "Behavior that degrades into violence, personal intimidation and disrespect for the rights of others is reprehensible, and does nothing to aid efforts to restore funding to the university," he said in a statement posted on the campus website.

UC’s top administrator also urged a day of nonviolence. "My heart and my support are with everybody and anybody who wants to stand up for public education. I salute those who are making themselves heard today in a peaceful manner on behalf of a great cause," UC system President Mark G. Yudof said in a prepared statement.

At UC Berkeley, about 150 protesters – at times chanting "Money for jobs and education, not for war and incarceration" – blocked the main pedestrian entrance to campus, Sather Gate, and also sought to stop people from walking into the university by hanging "danger" tape across paths.

A large crowd was gathering at UCLA’s Bruin Plaza. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff members chanted, "Who's got the power? We've got the power!" as others walked out of classes for the protest.

La-me-protests01_kys0ognc Professor Sara Melzer joined her UCLA students in the 11:30 a.m. walkout from their French culture and writing course because she said she wants to stop what she described as the privatization of public higher education. "It's not just about student fee hikes," she said. "That's the tip of the iceberg."

Roselyn Valdez, 28, an anthropology graduate student at Cal State Northridge, participated in the UCLA demonstration and held a white sign that showed a skeleton writing the words "RIP UC." She said it stood for the demise of the public education system that helped her study at Los Angeles City College, UC Santa Barbara and now at Cal State Northridge.

Valdez said she used loans, scholarships and worked various jobs to pay her education costs. "With fee hikes, I can't imagine anyone else having the chance that I did," she said.

The rallies, organized by unions and student groups, are scheduled throughout California, and around the nation in what organizers describe as a "Day of Action." Events are planned in, among other spots,  Sacramento, Long Beach and San Diego, as well as in New York City, Boston, Baton Rouge, and Seattle.

Authorities are warning of possible traffic delays Thursday afternoon in Westwood and downtown Los Angeles because of the protests.

The protesters at UCLA have a permit to march off campus about 5:30 p.m. They are expected to march south along Westwood Boulevard and cut through some side streets to Wilshire Boulevard and back to campus along Westwood Boulevard, according to an Los Angeles police advisory.

The permit is for 150 people, but the statement notes that officials "expect more." No formal street closures have been scheduled.

Separately, many busloads of students, faculty and staff from Southern California universities and high schools are scheduled to converge at 4 p.m. at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles and then march about three blocks for a rally an hour later near the Ronald Reagan State Building on Spring Street.

Police say there will be intermittent street closures along Olive Street, Hill Street, Broadway and Spring Street and around 4th and 5th streets, and they urge drivers to seek other routes, particularly Figueroa Street, as a possible better route to freeway entrances.

-- Carla Rivera in Carson, Nicole Santa Cruz in Westwood and Larry Gordon in Los Angeles.

Photo (top): Students from Santee High School and from West Adams Preparatory High School call on other Santee students to join them in protest as they march through downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times. Photo (top): Protesters at Cal State Long Beach. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times. Photo (bottom): UCLA to protesters. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

Photos: Education protests


-Photo from Berkeley.

-Photo from UC San Diego.

-Photo from UC Santa Cruz.

-Map of statewide protests.


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Comments () | Archives (113)

awful lot of white kids there , could be racial in nature, Better call the MSNBC hotline!

Pathetic....these morons are on the bad side of the socialist programs they supported that have in turn bankrupted the state..LOL. Once again the unintended consequnces of Liberalism/Socialism...hahahah.

Why is it that all these kids think the need to have a college degree? If everyone gets a degree, those degrees mean less. A degree used to be for the above average learners. We need to become a manufacturing nation again. Everyone cannot be middlemanagement, salespeople or service jobs. To quote a very wise man, "The world needs ditch diggers Danny."

"let them eat cake"

Arrest some of the savages and deport the rest. Time to save California.

So let's get this straight.
Students at UC schools are angry that the liberal politicians they support don't have enough money to run the state, and are making students pay for something of value (an education)?
"How DARE they make us pay for our educations!?! If the state is broke, print more money!"
Bunch of idiots. They don't belong in college in the first place.

Don't students learn to speak and write English in American schools any more? As a taxpayer, I am not positively impressed with the behavior and message of some.

These colleges keep building huge rec centers and other spiffy new buildings that are monuments to themselves. They raise student fees and cut education. No wonder I got my degree online.

So let me see if I have this right.... when Americans- many of whom are paying for the fiscal insanity in Washington- come together for non-violent protests in the Tea Party movement they are called a threat to America but when students across America engage in violence (see reports from Wisconsin, California, etc) occupation of buildings, and property damage because education may cost more its somehow acceptable? Where is the outrage?

I can't believe what I am seeing. I never knew there were so many people who had this notion that the government is supposed to pay for everything.

Given that most graduates can barely read, why should we even spend our money to churn out millions of soon to be welfare addicts?

You do not have a right to other people's money. I worked my way through college. If you can't do it, then you probaly don't have it in you to go to college anyway. Get a job cashiering somewhere, and be thankfuls for the subsidized housing and food the people provide for you.

.Otherwise, live under a bridge and starve.

I'm an adjunct at a small liberal arts college. It amazed me during the recent elections how many of these students of 'higher education' were voting for Obama because he was going to pay for their college tuition. Is the current administration directly responsible for the increases? No. Will the obscene spending of this administration make things worse for students. Definitely. Let's hope they pay attention to actual facts and not hyperbole in the coming elections.

"MURPHY HALL SIT-IN AT UCLA" is typical of these student protesters. He's against furloughs, fee cuts (I guess he meant pay cuts for state worker or faculty), and probably any kind of reduction of welfare, state services, and assorted "green" projects, in a state experiencing a fiscal crisis. And how is a forcible and possibly illegal sit in to an administration office a way to establish civilized dialogue?

Unless students explore REAL solutions to risiing cost, nothing will change. Why do most institutions require you to take bunches of classes that hasn't a thing to do with your major? Wasteful spending on campus aesthetics and new admin buildings? Are they aware that, as long as they get gobs of loans and grants from government and loan companies, the universities have little incentive to lower prices?

No one's denying these students education. Their fees are going up, but considering the amount of loans most of these students probably qualified for, all they need is some stern personal sacrifice to make it thorugh. I didnt' get finanacial aid in my freshman year. GET A GRIP on reality, people are losing jobs and suffering in the real world.

I hope at least a few of these mental giants make it thru school. Then I hope they have to pay most of thier wages into the government in taxes to support the losers who didn't. Keep voting Democratic kids!! It's kinda poetic justice to watch these children cut thier own throat and not even know it. Especially when it's mom and pops footing the bill anyway.

Aww...So sad to see the little kiddies upset... Haha You got your cool president and everything! How's that job market lookin for you little progressives? Indoctination at it's finest! How does it feel to be used and to dumb to even know it? All I can say is get a lawn mower and go GREEN! Hope & Change baby!

Who cares about California schools. They are all loop jobs out there especially Berkeley. Hopefully they will burn their schools down like the 60's. These very idiots voted the Joker in(Obama) and now they are crying even though their parents are probably millionares. Lets see if these pascifist have any balls. Burns your schools down like you did in the 60s - otherwise get back to class and make something of yourself.

What a bunch of whimps!!!!!!!!!

These students should ask their parents who they voted into power that caused this once great state to be in such a financial mess. It's not just the current downturn-we've been broke for years.

I can't wait until these students become wage earners and realize how little money they will net after the paying taxes that the next generation will claim is insufficient for their subsidized or free tuition.

do you have to agree with the students to get posted?

educate -agitate -organize
piece of trash
Times, how about posting a few normal people views!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where do these stupid idiots think the money is coming from? They think they're entitled and THEY'RE NOT!! I'm sick of these morons who "feel" that everyone owes them something. Then, the "education" that we all wind up paying for is nothing more than some liberal, hogwash B.S. brainwashing! It's Horses**t!

The students are complaining that America is greedy for not giving them a free education. How many sandwiches do you think they bought and gave to the homeless? They want me to give them a free education, but how much have they given to the less fortunate? I think all the protesters should be thrown out of school because if they are so stupid that they can't see that THEY are the greedy ones, then they don't belong at Berkeley.

These protesting teachers and students apparently don't study economics. Either students have to pay higher tuition or teachers have to accept less pay. The taxpayers haver run out of money to subsidize them and the few who have any money left are leaving California in droves.

Privileged little babies! Don't you understand that they, being LIBERALS, just don't want the responsibility of paying their own god damn way?

The free ride ended when you graduated from high school. Read the news you infants, the country is broke.

If you want your college paid for, go to prison. When you get out, it's carte' blanche. I worked all my life and can't qualify for any type of assistance or a loan. But I know other's that have done lots of time in prison and now they get their education paid for. This is absolute b.s. We, the people, wind up paying for low life's that have done nothing to contribute to anything other then themselves, then continue to take more. Absolute b.s.

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