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Cal State students, faculty protest budget cuts

April 13, 2011 |  1:29 pm

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About 200 students, faculty and labor union activists attended a lunchtime rally at Cal State L.A. on Wednesday, protesting the prospect of more state budget cuts that they said would reduce class offerings and make it harder to graduate. 

Gathering in a plaza near the campus library, the crowd chanted slogans such as "No cuts to the CSU!"  Students and faculty also performed a skit in which the ghost of the late Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown accused his son, Gov. Jerry Brown, of ruining his legacy of supporting higher education in the state.

The rally was one of a number at Cal State campuses across the state Wednesday, in conjunction with protests against education-funding cuts organized by faculty and student groups in Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and other states. 

Among those attending Cal State L.A.'s event was engineering major Hugo Perez, 24, of Palmdale, who said the lack of available classes is forcing him to take an extra year to graduate. "We've really got to fight for our education at this point," said Perez, who expects to graduate this spring.

At Cal State Long Beach, several hundred students and faculty gathered at midday in the quad in front of the student union, where they joined a local gospel choir to sing the civil rights standard "We Shall Overcome." 

Some students held signs that read, "We're Poor, Please Restore." 

Donald Bessom, a political science graduate student, energized the crowd with a message to Cal State administrators and state legislators: "The harder you hit us, the louder we get."

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-- Larry Gordon and Carla Rivera

Photo: Judy Olson, a Cal State L.A. faculty member, represents the ghost of Pat Brown during the rally.  Credit: Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times

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