Protesters End Ledge Protest At UC Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — An hours-long protest over state education budget cuts that drew riot police to Berkley ended late Thursday when demonstrators occupying part of a building voluntarily withdrew, the university said.

   Eight protesters, who had refused to budge from a fourth-floor ledge of Wheeler Hall at the University of California, Berkley, came down after talks with campus leaders. They were cited for trespassing and released, according to university police.

   The peaceful ending came after riot police faced off earlier in the day with a growing number of demonstrators angry over state cuts to the University of California.

   Shortly after the start of the protest, police said officers arrested one protester.

   Before the protest subsided, television live shots showed hundreds of protesters on the ground yelling and chanting, while a line of police in riot gear and carrying batons surrounded the building. UC Berkeley police Lt. Alex Yao estimated there were about 200 demonstrators.

   UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau ordered the building closed at 4 p.m., and police began moving students, faculty and staff from the area, according to the university.

   University officials said 26 classes were canceled, impacting more than 1,000 students.

   Thursday’s protest followed demonstrations against state education cuts on Wednesday that led to the arrests of 17 people for trespassing who university police said refused to leave a campus building.

   The protest Wednesday was part of a day of action by students around the country opposed to education cuts.

   A similar protest was held in Berkeley last year, also in early March. Those demonstrations turned rowdy, and included the rush-hour shutdown of a major freeway in neighboring Oakland.

   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • M

    Congratulations, hippies!!! It’ll be sooo rad to talk about your protests over some weed and Bob Marley while your parents pay your tuition. Man, the world is so unfair! How many of these pieces of trash had no idea why they were protesting?

    • Sick of Ignorant Comments

      Are you saying people don’t have the right to protest in the United States? I thought this country was founded on the right to assemble and speak and protest as people choose. It’s a frightening day when any yahoo can try to take away the rights this country was built upon. What are you afraid of? Freedom of thought? You might give it a try.

      • Chuckie

        People certainly DO have the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. If they were to do so without trespassing. Here’s a good test: Would they have been allowed to go there if they were simply having a cigarette? If the answer is yes, they are exercising their Constitutional rights. If the answer is no, they are thugs.

      • Dennis McBride

        Bravo. It’s about time I read one of these comments that reads intelligently. However, freedom of speech goes both ways, and we must even let those who are bigoted and foolish have their say. So. M… spew on.

  • Chris Webber Jr.

    dont understand why the police got to get in riot gear for a peaceful demonstration. o yea didnt bush band protest in this country and all our rights w/ it.

    • Chuckie

      “Peaceful” protesters have a history of violence and property destruction. They seem to feel entitled to throw rocks and bricks at Police far too often.

      The poor deers will now have to pay for 7% of the cost of their own educations rather than 5% and they are so emotional they might get out of hand.

      If things get any worse, they might be forced to actually consider the market value of their chosen degrees!

  • Mark

    They just need to build a fence around that campus and relable it as a mental facility. Or I guess we just wait for all of those young ” idealists” to learn something about real world knowledge like having to support yourself and adhere to a budget.

  • scott

    Not everyone going to UCD is having their parents pay their way. My brother-in-law goes there and pays for his own way. In my opinion, having these budget cuts always seems to affect students…if you cut the admins pay, which is in the $100,00 mark, then they would be showing they were loosing something too. But by raising rates and not taking a pay cut, it is just showing that money is money and no one cares. now I have my MD lic, so I am not worried about my future, but i see a lot of kids now adays and they are all concerned as to how they can afford to go to school in ths economy. I say cut some pay checks on the high officials and go from there. Stop saying, “budget cuts” and jus take it out on our future world leaders

    • haggus

      “Loosing” is not a word. You may also want to check sentence structure. Comments are taken much more seriously when scribed in proper English and spelling. If this is typical of graduate language skills, we might as well be cutting funds for education. We are not getting our money’s worth.

  • Linda

    So let’s protest and they will change their minds? Ha-ha

  • MIke

    Over one-third of Berkeley students are elligible to receive Pell Grants, meaning they have a family income of less than $50k/year. More students at Berkeley are in this category than the entire Ivy League plus Stanford. The same is true for UCLA and UC Davis.

    My problem is that the students are protesting the wrong people. It is the state government, not the University that is making the cut… $500 million next year.

  • Erica

    I would like to know why the pepper spraying of the students is not mentioned in this article. I am a student at UC Berkeley and have heard from a friend of mine present at the protest that several students were sprayed with pepper spray. This is a disgrace, and should be reported by the news.

  • Weber Tan

    Fantastic article. Can I takethis on one of my websites? I would like to put it as a reference for my readers in a link pointing back here. Thanks. =) Weber (=

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