SACRAMENTO — Thousands of students and activists marched on the state Capitol on Monday to protest cuts in higher education, and authorities arrested 68 of them who refused to leave the building after it closed in the evening.
Four had been arrested earlier in the day, one on suspicion of possessing a switchblade.
The demonstration, billed by some as an "occupy the Capitol" act and supported by a freewheeling coalition of student groups and labor unions, was the latest sign of simmering discontent over steady hikes in the cost of attending state universities and community colleges.
Tuition has tripled at the universities over the last decade. "We're getting pushed against a wall," said Carson Watts, 23, a sociology major at UC Santa Cruz.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed a budget last year that slashed funding for the University of California and Cal State systems by 23%, did not attend the rally. But he said through a spokeswoman: "The students today are reflecting the frustrations of millions of Californians who have seen their public schools and universities eroded year after year. That's why it's imperative that we get more tax revenue this November"-- a reference to his proposed ballot initiative to raise taxes.