Protesters take to Capitol building as part of March for Higher Education
The Guardsman of City College of San Francisco contributed to this report.
Update 8:15 p.m.: It is estimated that a total of 68 protesters who refused to leave the Capitol building after dispersal orders were given were arrested tonight.
Update 7:51 p.m.: Between 30 to 40 protesters sitting in the hallway of the Capitol building are being arrested.
Update 7:47 p.m.: Two SF State students have been arrested while protesting in the Capitol building.
Update 7:35 p.m.: The California Highway Patrol are begining to arrest protesters after a fifth dispersal order was given.
Update 7:04 p.m.: A fourth order of dispersal has been given to protesters still occupying the Capitol building. Protesters remaining in the building have expressed they they are not leaving and will risk arrest.
Sergeant Tony Beard with the California Highway Patrol said that officers are willing to wait before taking action on protesters.
Update 6:48 p.m.: About 75 protesters, including members of Occupy SFSU, remain inside the Capitol building after three dispersal orders were given this evening.
Police have separated media and protesters inside the building.
Update 6:35 p.m.: A dispersal order has been given by Sergeant Stone of the California Highway Patrol to protesters occupying the Capitol building.
Protesters were told if they do not leave the building they will be subject to immediate arrest. They have been told they are in violation of Penal Code Section 602.
About 75 protesters remain in the building.
Update 6:05 p.m.: At least 100 protesters have volunteered to stay inside the Capitol building and potentially be arrested once the dispersal order has been given. About 150 protesters have left the building.
Protesters have decided on a list of demands which include: all student debt be canceled; fully fund all education; amend Proposition 13; pass the millionaire’s tax and democratize the CSU and UC Board of Directors.
Protesters are currently holding a non-violent direct action workshop in preparation for arrests.
Outside of the building, a group has gathered at the steps and speakers include activist group Tax the Millionaires and president of the California State University Employees Union Pat Grantt.
Update 5:15 p.m.: A dispersal order has still not been given to protesters who are occupying the Capitol building.
Protesters who don’t want to risk arrest are deciding if they are going to leave the Capitol building. Those who are willing to stay are linking arms inside the building.
Many more California Highway Patrol officers have gathered outside of the Capitol building and are wearing bullet proof vests. There have been complaints that vests are covering some officers’ badge numbers.
Update 4:45 p.m.: California Highway Patrol police officers in riot gear have entered the Capitol building but no dispersal order has been given.
Protesters are voting if they will all leave or if those who are willing will stay and risk arrest.
Update 4:30 p.m.: A few protesters were arrested as the general assembly continues inside the Capitol building.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom came and spoke with a small group of those inside the building, but refused to address the crowd.
A protester near him yelling “see your world didn’t crumble right? You are part of the 1 percent. See your world hasn’t crumbled Gavin Newsom.”
Newsom tried to reply but protesters continued to talk over him.
There have been reports of issues with allowing protesters to use the restroom inside the Capitol building, which were closed at one point. Currently, all bathrooms are open for use.
A few protesters have been arrested in the building’s rotunda but it is unclear why.
Update 1:45 p.m.: Approximately 500 protesters are currently occupying the Capitol building while about 20 California Highway Patrol officers stand watch. Protesters have been blocked from accessing the offices, hallways and other parts of the building.
It has been warned that anyone who will be staying beyond 5 p.m. when the building closes will be risking arrest.
Update 12:30 p.m.: The front entrance to the Capitol building on 10th Street, between N and L streets, has been closed. The entrance on L Street remains open. Approximately 200 students are currently in line outside of the building trying to get inside.
Three people have been arrested during today’s demonstrations; one of those arrests was for possession of a pocket knife. Students from the University of California, Davis had their shields confiscated by police and two students who tried to set up a tent on the front lawn of the Capitol building were told to remove it.
Students, faculty and staff from as far as San Diego headed to Sacramento today as part of the March For Higher Education, where they intend to protest recent cuts in funding to public education.
The group of about 1,000 marched through the city of Sacramento to the Capitol building where they joined fellow demonstrators. About 10,000 people are currently gathered around the steps of the Capitol building as part of the student-sponsored “Rally to Fund our Future.”
“It’s nice to come here and see everybody that want to change our society, spread awareness and motivate people,” said Laura Daza, an urban studies major at SF State.
The March began at 10 a.m. as approximately 1,000 marchers took to the streets while police directed traffic and monitored intersections.
According to Sacramento Police Officer Warren, the plan is “just to make sure that the protest stays peaceful.”
A people’s assembly will be held inside the Capitol building at 1 p.m. where protesters plan to hold a nonviolent direct action workshop. There is a second rally planned for 5:30 p.m. for those who must wait until they are out of work to participate.