CHP Arrests Protesters In State Capitol After Day Of Education Protests

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – California Highway Patrol officers arrested dozens of protesters who refused to leave the state Capitol Monday night after repeated warnings, capping off a day of protests over cuts to higher education that saw thousands descend upon Sacramento.

CHP Capt. Andy Manard said police expected the number of people arrested to be 68. They would be charged with trespassing, he said.

Police started pulling out protesters who remained in the Capitol rotunda around 7:30 p.m., more than an hour after they began warning them with a bullhorn to leave. Protesters chanted “We’re doing this for your kids,” as they were lifted up by the arms one-by-one, handcuffed with plastic ties and led them away.

“We gave them about seven or eight opportunities to avoid arrest,” Manard said. “We wanted to give them every opportunity to leave. Having that many arrests puts a stress on the jails too.”

He said the protesters would be taken to the Sacramento County Jail.

Several lawmakers watched from a second-floor balcony.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Reports:

Hundreds of protesters remained outside the Capitol, along with hundreds of officers in riot gear who flanked the building. A CHP helicopter circled overhead throughout the day and evening. Manard said there were 210 officers for Monday’s events.

Those arrested were part of a daylong protest over state budget cuts to higher education that have led to steep tuition increases and fewer courses at California’s public universities and colleges.

The sit-in was staged after thousands of protesters swarmed the Capitol lawn, waving signs and chanting, “They say cut back, we say fight back.”

“We were expecting to have a good future, but things are looking uncertain for a lot of families,” said Alison Her, 19, a nursing student at California State University, Fresno. “I’m the oldest in my family and I want my siblings to be able to go to college, too.”

Organizers had hoped that 10,000 protesters would demonstrate against rising tuition rates and demand that state lawmakers restore funding for higher education. But the actual turnout fell short.

After the rally, hundreds of students lined up to enter the Capitol and filled conference rooms and hallways inside. Some met with lawmakers to lobby for increased funding for higher education, while others headed for the rotunda.

CHP officers allowed several hundred students to settle on the black and white marble floor of the rotunda before all four hallway entrances to the area were blocked. Another hundred students sat down in a hallway, communicating with fellow protesters by call and response.

Protesters spent two hours debating in call and response whether to stay after 6 p.m. and get arrested. They developed a list of core demands to present to lawmakers, including taxing the rich, educating prisoners and funding free textbooks.

A statue of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus was decorated with signs reading “Stop the fee increases” and “Occupy education.”

Four people were arrested during the day, CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said. Three women were arrested for failing to obey an officer’s order after trying to unfurl a banner on the second floor, and a man was arrested outside the building for being in possession of a switchblade knife, the CHP said.

Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement that the protest highlights the need for California voters to approve a tax increase he has proposed for the November ballot.

“The students today are reflecting the frustrations of millions of Californians who have seen their public schools and universities eroded year after year,” Brown, a Democrat, said in a written statement. “That’s why it’s imperative that we get more tax revenue this November.”

Brown’s initiative would fund education and public safety programs by temporarily raising income taxes on people who make more than $250,000 a year and temporarily increasing the sales tax by half a cent.

The University of California Student Association has endorsed a rival initiative that would tax millionaires and earmark the revenue for education. The California Federation of Teachers and state PTA support that initiative.

Buses brought hundreds of students in from as far away as the University of California, Riverside, 450 miles south of Sacramento, for Monday’s march.

The crowd was a sea of red and white, as many wore T-shirts that said “Refund our Education” and “March March.”

Tuition has nearly doubled in the past five years, to $13,000 for resident undergraduates at University of California schools and to $6,400 at California State University schools. Community college fees are set to rise to $46 per unit by this summer, up from $20 per unit in 2007.

Sam Resnick, 20, a history student at Pasadena City College, brought a tent with him to the rally.

“We want to show the state government that we care about our education, and we’re not going to leave until they make it a priority,” Resnick said.

Despite participation from outside groups, including Occupy movement protesters and supporters of the millionaire’s tax, student organizers tried to keep the focus on education cuts.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, urged the students in a speech to use social media to spread the word about how much debt they are forced to take on to attend public colleges and universities. Perez and other Democrats support Brown’s tax proposal.

“For thousands of students across California, the debt is too much to take on and the bill is too high,” he said.

But at one point, the crowd drowned Perez out, chanting “Show us.”

Monday’s rally comes four days after college students held rallies, marches, walkouts and teach-ins at about 30 campuses across California.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. d says:

    Why should anyone pay higher taxes so someone else can go to college. Pay your own way through school, nothing in life is promised or gauranteed. Older adults need to teach all these kids that they need to work for what they want, no free rides. I want a Lamborghini, but I don’t expect taxpayers to foot the bill.

    1. paheidi says:

      The part you don’t get is that an educated population serves the state well, just as is the case for k-12 education. While I don’t believe it should be free, funding for prisons has increased enormously while funding for education (K-15 and higher ed) precipitously. The CSU (a STATE university) has less than 50% now from state dollars. It used to be 80%+. It is an educated population that grew Silicon Valley and helped everyone.

      1. Milan Moravec says:

        UC Berkeley (UCB) pulls back access and affordability to instate Californians. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau displaces Californians qualified for public Cal. with a $50,600 payment from born abroad foreign and out of state affluent students. And, foreign and out of state tuition is subsidized in the guise of diversity while instate tuition/fees are doubled.

        UCB is not increasing enrollment. Birgeneau accepts $50,600 foreign students and displaces qualified instate Californians (When depreciation of Calif. funded assets are included (as they should be), out of state and foreign tuition is more than $100,000 + and does NOT subsidize instate tuition). Instate tuition now more expensive than Harvard, Yale. Like Coaches, Chancellors Who Do Not Measure-Up Must Go.

        More recently, Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police deployed violent baton jabs on Cal. students protesting Birgeneau’s tuition increases. Tough choices must be made: the sky will not fall when Birgeneau and his $450,000 salary are ousted. Opinions make a difference; email UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

    2. hello says:

      Free education would be the best investmentf for this country and its social and economic development, but an AFFORDABLE education is not RIDICULOUS to ask for. We were protesting against budget cuts to higher education (not free education), which trigger and INCREASE in our tuition fees, thus making education less affordable, and accessible. A $13,000 a year tuition fee is ridiculous, forcing most of us students to drown in debt before graduation at the age of 22! Budget cuts affect every single student, and future student to come because they cause tuition hikes in order to offset the cuts the schools take from state funding. Budget cuts=Higher tuition fees FOR EVERY SINGLE STUDENT

  2. Godzilla says:

    Dismantle teachers unions first, then we’ll talk. Don’t blame the rich for being rich. They don’t owe you anything. Work hard and you may get rich to one day! Enough with this entitlement mentality!

    1. wake up and read a book says:

      And this comes to show how uneducated you are on the way our economy funcions. Big corporation owners (such as the owner of wal-mart), which comprise the smallest part of our population, attained their riches through loopholes in our economic system. Such as tax payer money to fund their corporation. You should read a book, and gain some knowledge about how exactly the rich are getting richer through our own tax money….Free Lunch by economist, and journalist David Cay Johnston is a great read.

  3. Joe says:

    Dismantle teachers unions first!

  4. Yo says:

    Agree with the earlier comments. Once these students actually pay some taxes…they can comment on the tax structure.

    1. paheidi says:

      Many of them do. The vast majority of CSU students work.

  5. ray says:

    You are a bunch of takers get a job and pay your own way the way most of us did. Your only right is a persuit of happness not getting other people’s money.

  6. Milan Moravec says:

    It is past time for University of California Regent Chairwoman Lansing to deal with the economic realities that the Board of Regents cannot escape. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau picks the pockets of Californian students and their parents clean. Public Cal. now more expensive than Harvard and Yale. (The author has 35 years’ consulting, has taught at Cal where he observed the culture & ways of senior management & was not fired)

    UC Berkeley Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) has forgotten he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom. Tuition fee increases exceed national average rate of increase; On an all-in-cost Cal. ranked # 1 most expensive public university; Recruits (using California tax $) out of state & foreign affluent $50,600 tuition students who displace qualified instate Cal applicants; Spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do the work of his management team (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost).
    In tough economic times, unpleasant decisions must be made. UC Board of Regents Chair Lansing must oust Chancellor Birgeneau
    Email opinion to marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  7. stuart prout says:

    When will the protestors learn there is no free lunch? No one put a gun to their heads and told them to take out huge loans for school. Dont go to a big university unless you can afford it without going into debt or work and go to school part time.

    Funding for schools comes from the state and is at the mercy of the budget. If there is less revenue then there is less money to spend on education. Higher taxes is not neccessarily the best answer to the problem

    1. Milan Moravec says:

      UC Berkeley Chancellor continues to spend $ like a druncken sailor. It is past time for University of California Regent Chairwoman Lansing to deal with the economic realities that the Board of Regents cannot escape. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau picks the pockets of Californian students and their parents clean. Public Cal. now more expensive than Harvard and Yale. (The author has 35 years’ consulting, has taught at Cal where he observed the culture & ways of senior management & was not fired)

      UC Berkeley Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) has forgotten he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom. Tuition fee increases exceed national average rate of increase; On an all-in-cost Cal. ranked # 1 most expensive public university; Recruits (using California tax $) out of state & foreign affluent $50,600 tuition students who displace qualified instate Cal applicants; Spends $7,000,000 + for OE consultants to do the work of his management team (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost).
      In tough economic times, unpleasant decisions must be made. UC Board of Regents Chair Lansing must oust Chancellor Birgeneau
      Email opinion to marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

      1. paheidi says:

        You need to check your facts. The out of state students do NOT displace any qualified students for which the state provides support. Out of state students pay full tuition and cover the costs of their education; in-state students do not. If the state cannot provide the monies, the university has to find other sources of income to keep the university healthy — out of area students are one way of doing so. In terms of ranking costs — if you compare small town or mid-western universities with much lower costs of living to UCs, you are comparing apples and oranges. The more honest comparison would be on tutition only, and in that case, the community colleges, CSUs, and UCs are a bargain compared to other states. CSU tution is lower than all but 3 states.

      2. Milan Moravec says:

        UC Berkeley , a public university, is now more expensive than Harvard and Yale.
        Fire UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau.

    2. Mehran Khodabandeh says:

      value you lending your ideas to this discussion but I think you may have missed the point of our protest yesterday.The students do understand the risk and reward of a college. The message was misconstrued by the occupiers; our message was the state places as little priority as possible on higher education in recent years that has apparent and doesn’t care for incite of it’s students and the long term damage it may cost. Our students struggle, work and sweat for there education. Education is a right and a privilege everyone should have the equal opportunity to receive an education; the question about finance should be a deterrent in the public sector that’s how a caste system is created. Its a privilege because of what you experience from higher education life skill as well education. That leads me to say the state is removing funding and negatively impacting the future. Think of it as generational taxation without representation were telling the future we want you to feel like college is for those who can afford it. Think of education as infrastructure your creating the materials that will keep the machine going. The state is in dire need of nurses, engineers and police officers and the CSU, UC, and CCC produce more of those then any other system in the world. Food for thought.

  8. Milan Moravec says:

    Fire UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau

  9. Mehran Khodabandeh says:

    Since when is exercising your rights affiliated with gang activity. I don’t think you event watched the report. They called it far more peaceful then anything else they’ve seen from protestors recently. I encourage you to talk to a student I pay taxes and participate in my civic duty to disagree with the government. Following obediently is not the best way to impact change. Questioning the status duo( which is a right) is. Also, just so you don’t think I’m wasting time I sent an application to an internship while I was reading your comments.

  10. hello says:

    I am a student that attended the march in Sacramento. I also had the opportunity to lobby some legislators about the issues at hand. The issue I presented was simply the budget cut on higher education our governor intends to implement this fiscal year. As it has been noted, yes, other agencies in our state system are not as fiscally neglected as is education, which leaves the question of where OUR priorities are? Educating the future leaders of America is obviously not one of them, but maybe imprisoning them is (as the prison system is one of those other state agencies LESS neglected and more funded), maybe the state would rather have a bunch of uneducated citizens too fill up their prisons, seeing as the more education a person receives the less likely they are too end up in the judicial system . But, regardless of that, we as students only want an AFFORDABLE education, not necessarily a FREE one. Is asking for an affordable education too much to ask for? Education has never been as proportionately costly as it is now. And by proportionately costly, I mean in proportion to the cost of living. So, all those of you who claim to have paid for your own education, etc. etc. Well, reality check. Not in the proportions we are having to pay, so sorry to have to tell you that it is NOT the same. AND FYI, we are tax payers….as we contribute to the economy through WORK, and consumption. And, we are not asking for more state taxes to fund our education, we are simply asking for NO MORE Budget cuts, which trigger an INCREASE in our tuition making our education less and less affordable.

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