This past Friday, students from UC Berkeley protested on their campus against the 35% student fee increase and over 900 employee layoffs. These increases are due to the state’s own economic crisis, stripping the state’s budget of necessities such as education and health care. This translates into student’s fees rising from $7,788 to $8,373 and next year to $10,302. The students are obviously upset, using their freedom of speech to take action. One of the banners they hung up read, “32 Percent Hike, 900 Layoffs” and “class” in red, crossed out. Los estudiantes also created human barricades within one of the buildings to negotiate some form of an agreement with the UC Board.
The stats were 50-60 students in the building, another 500 outside for support, and 3-4 arrests. Number of students who got a bastonazos from the “po-po”: a good chunk (check out the video below). When asked how they felt about the way students were taking on the issue, a spokeswoman of the university said, “We certainly understand students’ frustrations and concerns, but it’s disappointing they expressed their frustrations in this way.”
The issue is a torn one, as the state is trying to cut down on spending. However, it IS a drastic hike for students that don’t have mami y papi paying for them. In my opinion, they have all the right to get angry and want to voice their opinions. –And violence definitely shouldn’t be used as means to get heard, on either end. I mean, c’mon mi gente, let’s put the lessons of Cesar Chavez to good use. In any case, we say “pa’lante!” UC Berkeley students, we support the cause for good affordable education!