CHP Releases Dozens Arrested At State Capitol Protest

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Sacramento Police in riot gear (CBS)

Sacramento Police in riot gear (CBS)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Nearly all of the 72 people arrested during this week’s protests over funding for higher education at the state Capitol have been released, the California Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

Police cited 66 of the 68 protesters who occupied the Capitol rotunda Monday night for trespassing and released them about three hours later at a 24-hour Walmart in West Sacramento, CHP Officer Sean Kennedy said Tuesday.

Kennedy said they were dropped off at the store just before midnight because police wanted to give them a chance to get a snack after being barricaded inside the Capitol for up to 12 hours.

Two protesters were booked into the Sacramento County Jail for passively resisting arrest and trespassing, along with three women who tried to unfurl a banner in the Capitol and a man arrested for carrying a switchblade knife.

Anneliese Harlander, 21, a junior at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was one of two protesters who went limp when police started the arrests. She remained in custody Tuesday afternoon, Sacramento Police Deputy Jason Ramos said.

An hour before officers dragged her across the rotunda floor, she described the protest as a “fight for my family.”

“I work two jobs seven days a week to make sure I can go to college,” said Harlander, a first-generation college student. “We need people who are willing to fight for our dreams and for universal education.”

After a similar sit-in to protest education cuts last year, CHP officers at the Capitol were criticized for booking all protesters instead of citing and releasing them.

Kennedy said it was a relief that Monday’s demonstrations at the state Capitol did not lead to any confrontations between police and protesters.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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