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Dozens reportedly arrested in UC protest

Officials report the arrest of dozens of people who barricaded themselves in a building on the University of California campus at Berkeley to protest an increase in student fees and budget cuts.
California University Fees
These protesters are among several dozen who barricaded themselves inside Wheeler Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on Friday.Paul Sakuma / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Students barricaded themselves in a building on the University of California campus at Berkeley to protest a 32 percent increase in student fees and budget cuts, but officials said late Saturday that dozens had been arrested.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told KGO-TV late Friday afternoon more than 40 people, at least some of them students, had been arrested and the protest appeared to be coming to a "safe end."

Demonstrators at UC Berkeley occupied Wheeler Hall on Friday and hung a sign from a window that read "32 Percent Hike, 900 layoffs," with the word "Class" crossed out in red. A group of students also rallied outside the building.

University police Lt. Alex Yao said demonstrators barricaded themselves behind fire doors on the second floor, but police had control of the rest of the building.

The Daily Californian student newspaper said it received a text message from a protester in the building who put the number inside at 60 undergraduates and graduate students.

The occupiers were demanding the university rehire laid-off custodial workers and give amnesty to anyone arrested in the protest.

At UC Santa Cruz, Provost David Kliger said a group of students was blocking exits at Kerr Hall, which houses science departments and administrative offices.

Kliger said he would not consider the students' demands until they cleared the obstructions.

About 30 to 50 protesters staged a takeover of Campbell Hall at UCLA on Thursday, as regents met across campus to approve the fee hike. More than 50 students were arrested during protests at UC Davis.

Regents say they had to raise fees because the cash-strapped state government can't meet the university's funding needs.