Students Angry Against Cuts Budget On California
nger more than increasing tuition and college spending budget cuts boiled more than as students across the country staged rowdy demonstrations that led to clashes with police and the rush-hour shutdown of the main freeway in California.
College students, teachers, parents and college workers rallied and marched at university campuses, public parks and government buildings in a number of U.S. cities Thursday in what was called the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Training.
In Oakland, protesters evaded law enforcement and walked onto Interstate 880 near downtown Oakland just before Five p.m., forcing the closure from the highway in both directions for a lot more than an hour and causing traffic to back up for miles.
Police arrested more than 150 individuals who blocked the highway following breaking off from a peaceful rally at Oakland City Hall, stated Officer Sam Morgan, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
One protester suffered severe injuries following jumping in the elevated freeway while officers were producing arrests, authorities stated.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee law enforcement arrested a minimum of 15 people protesting tuition hikes following demonstrators tried to enter an administrative creating to deliver petitions towards the chancellor. When police turned them away, some protesters threw punches and ice chunks, university spokesman Tom Luljak said.
Faced with plunging tax revenue and massive budget shortfalls, states have slashed funding to K-12 educational facilities and universities. In response, school districts are laying off teachers, expanding class sizes and scrapping academic programs, while many colleges have cancelled classes, furloughed instructors and raised tuition.
Experts say schools and colleges could face more severe monetary difficulties over the following few years as they drain federal stimulus money that temporarily prevented widespread layoffs and classroom cuts.
In Southern California, law enforcement arrested a number of people, such as one faculty member, who blocked visitors Thursday afternoon after a protest at California State University, Northridge, stated university spokesman Vance Peterson.
At the University of California, Davis, about 75 law enforcement officers were called towards the scene following nearly 300 college students attempted to block a freeway onramp close to campus Thursday, stated university spokeswoman Claudia Morain.
A tense standoff between students and law enforcement ended police after fired pepper spray to disperse the crowd and one female student was arrested, Morain said.
Protesters at UC Santa Cruz blocked campus gates and smashed the windows of an automobile while its uninjured driver was inside. College officials urged students and workers to avoid the campus because of safety concerns.
At UC Berkeley, a tiny team of protesters formed a human chain blocking a primary gate towards the campus. Later within the day, hundreds gathered rallied in a busy intersection near Sproul Plaza prior to marching to downtown Oakland.
Senior Eugene Pascual, 22, said he was worried about rising university costs after the 10-campus UC system raised fees by more than 30 percent this year.
“I’m afraid of how significantly my parents will be paying for my sister’s training,” Pascual stated. “My dad’s already functioning two jobs. My mom is functioning a job …. They’re struggling. They’re stressed.
At the University of Illinois, a lot more than 200 professors, instructors and graduate faculty marched through campus carrying signs that examine “Furlough Legislators” — a reference to recent furloughs and 4 percent spend cuts imposed on thousands of university employees
In Olympia, Wash., a team of about 75 protesters arrived at the Capitol bearing a faux coffin emblazoned with the slogan “R.I.P. Training.” They were ejected from the state Senate gallery after interrupting a debate with a protest song that followed the tune of “Amazing Grace.”
At the University of Texas at Austin, about 100 college students and staff rallied on campus to protest a 5.4 percent hike in tuition and fees approved by regents a day earlier. Protesters complained the high quality of education was getting a backseat to the university’s bottom line.
In Alabama, Broderick Thomas, a 23-year-old Auburn senior, attended an annual greater education rally in Montgomery and stated he feels “it’s the moral duty from the state to give back what they promised.”
On the campus of California State University, Northridge, a group of protesters sat down in an intersection blocking traffic. Police said five students were cited for misdemeanors and released.
College students also conducted a sit-in in the University of California, Los Angeles and rallied outside the downtown federal building.
In Sacramento, hundreds of students, teachers, mother and father and college employees rallied in the Capitol to urge lawmakers to restore funding to public educational facilities.
“My children are seeing their PE, art and music teachers leave, and they’re even getting away college buses,” said Monika Monte, who has three children in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. “I’m worried what will occur to children all more than the state if this continues. When does it stop?”