WESTWOOD (CNS) - Hundreds of students angry over rising tuition fees and the pepper-spraying of peaceful protesters by University of California police are expected to converge on the southern edge of the UCLA campus Monday as UC regents try again to hold a meeting.
Confrontations that may provoke arrests are planned in conjunction with the all-day regents teleconference, which will be held in Westwood, San Francisco, Merced and Davis.
At UCLA, students plan to stage loud demonstrations under the banner "Make Millionaires Pay" as the Board of Regents attempts to hold a meeting for the second time this month. An earlier meeting in San Francisco was cancelled amid security concerns.
Monday's meeting is expected to attract overflow crowds to the James West Alumni Center at the south end of the UCLA campus in Westwood. Earlier in November, UCLA students blocked the busy nearby intersection of Westwood and Wilshire boulevards.
The UC system has been rocked by amateur video of UC Berkeley police using batons against limp protestors and a UC Davis police officer almost nonchalantly releasing large quantities of pepper spray into the faces of sitting students who would not move but otherwise offered no resistance.
"Students are going to demand that the regents change the agenda to reflect their concerns and we are not going to be appeased if the only change is a longer public comment period," said organizer Kyle Arnon, a sociology doctoral student from Buffalo, N.Y.
The regents have added 45 minutes to the normal 15-minute public comment period at Monday's meeting to hear students and faculty members comment about the Davis and Berkeley incidents. .
Protests are planned at all four campus involved in today's teleconference by students from the 10 UC campuses, 23 California State schools and maybe some community college students.
In the days since the pepper spray incident at Davis, police at UC campuses have been coordinating and reviewing policies on appropriate use of force, and other strategies to deal with student protests.
"I think they are going to be much more cautious in dealing with students as a result of the Davis public relations disaster," Arnon said.