LOS ANGELES, UCLA Campus - November 19, 2009 – An estimated 2,000+ students and union workers took part in various actions campus-wide this week. Covel Commons where the UC Regents held their last day of meetings was completely surrounded by students and workers with arms locked together. They formed a human chain of solidarity against the regents complicity in the ongoing privatization of the UC system.
It was under this Board of Regents that the funds marked to secure the future of higher education were placed under the management of Wall Street brokers who gambled it away on sub-prime loans and other criminal schemes.
The State and Federal governments, which wasted no time to ball out the bankers, are now mandating cuts to education. Regents voted to raise students fees 32% today. The yearly cost for a UC student is now over $10,000 a year, three times what it was ten years ago. Without financial aid or student loans many students now in the UC System will simply not be able to afford to finish their degree.
UC staff have already been hit with pay cuts, work furlough days and layoffs. More cuts and layoffs could come next year. Students in coordination with campus workers are now mobilizing for a second round of mass actions early next year in March.
Students were prepared to stand down if only the regents came out to speak to them. This stand off lasted about 30 mins. Police order to disperse was given twice and it looked as if police were about start making arrests when the regents were suddenly escorted out of the van by police and into a nearby building. Many students were pushed and clubbed by police less than two mins after this photo was taken. Video of incident to follow soon.
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