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Friday News Overload: Campus protest edition

Jenna Johnson

On Thursday thousands Californians and others across the country passionately protested public education funding cuts, higher tuition, reduced class offerings and teacher layoffs. The LA Times reports that the day was filled with "mostly peaceful rallies, walkouts and teach-ins at universities and high schools throughout California and the nation," but about 150 protesters were arrested in Oakland after blocking a freeway during rush-hour traffic.

Here's a recap of what happened yesterday. Also, check out graphics put together by The Daily Bruin and The Daily Cal that show what happened where. And you can also read through the live blog the Daily Cal created.

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Students rallied at noon in the student union and then marched to the university's administrative offices, where 15 were arrested for obstructing justice and disorderly conduct, The UWM Post reports. Pepper spray was used against some of the students. The student government president also was detained but will not be charged.

University of California, Davis
About 300 protesters attempted to march onto Interstate 80 and block traffic but were stopped by shoulder-to-shoulder lines of 120 officers from 10 law enforcement agencies, The Aggie reports. Officers in full tactical gear fired pepper balls at the ground in front of the protesters, used batons to beat back a throng of students and arrested a fifth-year student on suspicion of inciting a riot and resisting arrest. Some police had stun guns, but a UC Davis police spokesperson said they were not used, despite what many students reported hearing and seeing.

University of Washington
A coalition of about 400 to 500 university workers, students and community members gathered to protest a 26-percent cut in state funding and 14-percent increase in tuition, The Daily of the University of Washington reports. Student skipped classes, marched in a circle on the quad with picket signs (one read "Emmert's salary makes the UW sick") and megaphones, and marched through classes in an academic hall. The crowd debated going toward the freeway but ended up backtracking toward the university tower. The protest was much larger than a rally in late January at a board of regents meeting, which attracted about 80 people.

University of California, Berkeley
Students and union members formed picket lines early in the morning, then rallied on campus in the afternoon, stopping traffic for an hour as about 800 demonstrators chanted slogans and listened to speeches from organizers, The Daily Cal reports. The crowd then marched five miles to Oakland, picking up additional supporters Eventually the crowd totaled 1,500. Some of those protesters continued on to San Francisco, where more than 10,000 people rallied.

San Francisco State University
About 30 students gathered for a loud dance party near campus to protest budget cuts and bring attention to the ongoing demonstrations against fee increases and class reductions, The Golden Gate [X] Press reports. The playlist included Animal Collective, Run DMC and Girl Talk.

University of California, Santa Cruz
Students and others arrived on campus as early as 5 a.m. to block entrances to campus, resulting in the administration urging employees to stay home for the day, City on a Hill Press reports. Some campus services were reduced for the day, and campus shuttles and dining halls closed. A school spokesman told the student paper, "We salute people who want to call attention to the issue ... we just don't believe students should be deprived of the right to attend classes if they wish to or need to."

San Jose State University
About 700 students and teachers from across the city gathered outside San Jose City Hall to chant "Classmates not cellmates!" The Spartan Daily reports that it was the biggest march the university has had in the past 25 years.

University of California, Riverside
Activists gathered at the campus Bell Tower to listen to speakers. A group of about 400 marched around campus and through downtown Riverside, where they converged with a group from the Riverside Community College, swelling to about 800. As rush-hour traffic began, a few people dressed in red and blue caps and gowns blocked traffic for a few minutes, The Highlander reports.

University of California, Los Angeles
About 300 students, campus staff and union workers rallied in Bruin Plaza at around noon, listening to speakers and chanting slogans, such as "Education should be free - no cuts, no fees," The Daily Bruin reports. Many students shared their personal struggles with the November fee hikes passed by the UC Board of Regents. They also expressed concern over budget cuts and racially charged events at University of California campuses.

Who did I miss? What happened on your campus? Shoot me an e-mail so I can add it to the list.

Follow Campus Overload all day, every day at http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  March 5, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  News Overload  
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