Thousands of students marched around the California state Capitol to protest the rising costs to be educated at California universities and community colleges. The more general Occupy movement also had several hundred members attending the rally in what they claim is an attempt to show solidarity to mixed reaction in the students:
Some student activists have expressed frustration that Occupy supporters are grabbing the spotlight from their efforts to lobby legislators on education issues.
Occupy supporters said they are simply throwing their weight behind the effort by students.
The march around the Capitol is the culmination of the walk that started at times before as students marched from various areas to arrive at UC Davis Sunday evening, being accompanied by others who went directly, and get ready for the final leg on to the Capitol Monday morning.
Despite Occupy grabbing some of the headlines and publicity, the rally was organized by the Student Senate for California Vocational schools, California State Student Association and the University of California Student Association.
The \”Fund our Future\” rally called on lawmakers to improve funding for higher education and received a lot more respect from lawmakers than the usual typical Occupy rally, being addressed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Speak John A. Perez and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on the steps of the Capitol.
Unfortunately the day of peaceful, if noisy, protest was marred at the end by a select few arrested for trespassing after refusing to leave long after the daily closure of the Capitol at 6pm. As numbers dwindled the rally morphed into a sit-in, perhaps indicating that Occupy members composed a much greater number of people remaining after the day than at the start. The arrests were inevitable like a small core attended with this specific goal in your mind.
“My intention coming here today was to get arrested,” said Chris Schildt, a 29-year-old graduate student at UC Berkeley
While the debate about whether Occupy hijacked the student\’s rally continues, they did flourish in getting publicity for their campaign against further cuts in education.
Orange County State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, stuck around the Capitol late Monday and watched the arrests.
“I don’t accept getting arrested,” the senator said. “But I agree with their message. No more cuts to education.”