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Outrage and Occupation at UCLA as UC Regents Pass 32% Fee Hike

By Eric Gardner |
November 20, 2009
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Sign says "No Cuts No Fees Education Should be Free" at UCLA
Thousands have been protesting the UC Regents meeting that voted to increase tuition by 32%. (Fight Back! News/Eric Gardner)

Los Angeles, CA - Students from all over the state of California gathered at the University of California regents meeting on UCLA campus Nov.19. They were there to protest proposed fee hikes.

Students and workers (represented by AFSCME, UPTE and other unions) held a huge protest outside of Covell Commons, the meeting venue. The already militant mood became one of outrage when word spread that the 32% fee increase had been approved. Amongst the protesters were members of Students for a Democratic Society.

Afterwards, protesters formed a human chain around the building and staged sit ins at the various entrances, with the goal of preventing the regents from leaving. For over two hours they succeeded, as a wall of bodies prevented any vehicles from driving off. Eventually the police used force to disperse the crowd, and at least one student was attacked with pepper spray as demonstrators chanted, “Shame on you!”

Meanwhile, on the other side of campus, protesters occupied Campbell Hall and barricaded the entrances shut. Banners in front of the main entrance have renamed the building ‘Carter-Huggins,’ after Bunchy Carter and John Huggins, two Black Panther Party leaders who were murdered there in 1969.

In the morning, a large march went by the building to support the occupiers. In the afternoon, after demonstrators were dispersed at Covell, many came back to Campbell Hall to join the occupation. As of the time this is being written, protesters are still inside and have just been given an order to disperse by the UC police.

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