Students to protest tuition, funding for higher education

5:59 AM, Mar 5, 2012   |    comments
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Occupy members march on Capitol to protest rising costs of California schooling.

SACRAMENTO, CA - Up to 10,000 students were expected at the state capitol Monday morning to protest rising costs at California universities and community colleges.

Student groups are rallying at the capitol at 10 a.m.

Members of the Occupy movement also expect to have several hundred supporters on hand.

Several state legislators will be addressing the students, including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

On Sunday night, about 100 protestors gathered at the UC Davis quad to spend the night before heading to the capitol on Monday.

"We want all people to be able to afford to be able to have the opportunity that we've had, that our parents have had. Everyone deserves that right," said Rene Franco, who said he is a member of Occupy San Francisco.

One group of students and Occupy supporters spent several days walking from the Bay Area to Davis, where they reached the UC Davis quad Sunday evening.

Betalo Alphonso said he joined the walk because he's struggling to finish college as his tuition rises.

"It's about my education and whether I'll be able to continue or not because the prices keep going up," Alphonso said.

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 way we view it is we're actually building solidarity and working alongside the other groups," said Occupy member Beezer DeMartelly.

Activists plan to gather at Sacramento's Southside Park before marching to the 10 a. m.  rally at the capitol.


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