By Miriam Raftery
November 14, 2011 (San Diego) – Two actions are planned this week by students in coordination with the “Occupy” movement to protest student fee hikes and more.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, thousands plan to converge at a California State University (CSU) Trustees meeting in Long Beach to protest 200 percent increases in tuitions for California college and university students since 2008—with even more hikes looming.
Busses will depart from San Diego State University, the University of California San Diego and CSU San Marcos. Students, educators and supporters call on leaders of California schools and universities to support “Re-Fund Public Education Action Week.” Organizers say students have paid more than their fair share, adding, "It’s time to make Wall Street corporations and the wealthy pay to refund education.” To reserve seats on a bus, visit http://www.makebankspaycalifornia.com/refund_public_education_action_week.
On Tuesday, November 15 a California-wide “school strike” is also being organized.
The strike aims to show solidarity for U.C. Berkeley students who were beaten with batons by police in riot gear on November 9 during protests on campus. Besides protesting alleged police brutality, organizers have also issued a call for “the end of spiraling tuition and endless arbitrary budget cuts.”
Repeated steep tuition hikes have been imposed in response to deep state budget cuts in education funding, cuts necessitated due to a partisan divide in the state Legislature. Democrats have sought to increase state revenues in part by asking wealthier Californians and corporations to pay more, such as imposing a wellhead tax on oil, while Republicans have opposed those measures and insisted on all-cuts budgets to reduce state spending without new revenues.