Protesters gather at UCLA for UC regents meeting
Student protesters upset over budget cuts and police action against Occupy campers plan to demonstrate at four University of California campuses where the university’s Board of Regents is meeting by teleconference Monday.
The board is expected to vote on whether to ask the state for more funding for the 10-campus system, although no tuition proposal is on Monday’s agenda.
But in the wake of the recent pepper spraying by police of protesters at UC Davis and a tough crackdown on demonstrators at UC Berkeley, much of the discussion is likely to focus instead on student protests and their handling by campus police.
At UCLA, one of four campuses where the regents are gathering, 15 tents were pitched overnight near the Bruin statue not far from the meeting site at the James West alumni center.
Psychology major Jonathan Bonilla, 21, was among those who camped overnight and plans to attend the Monday board meeting. Bonilla, who recently transferred to the university, said it was important that students make their voices heard at the meeting, even without a tuition hike on the agenda. "We want to show them we have a voice, we have an opinion," he said.
Bonilla said it was also important for students to continue the systemwide protest against the pepper spraying incident. "We are in solidarity with other campuses against police brutality," he said.
The regents were originally scheduled to meet Nov. 16-17 in San Francisco but called off the session after police warned that protests could turn violent. The board will now meet by teleconference from UCLA, UC Davis, UC Merced and the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campuses. The meeting sites are open to the public, although security is expected to be tight.
-- Larry Gordon at UCLA