Police arrest 14 protesters, clear Wilson Plaza peacefully
By UCLA Newsroom November 18, 2011 Category: Campus News
[Update: Nov. 18, 11:45 a.m.]
Police say that all those arrested have been cited and released.
[Update: Nov. 18, 11:00 a.m.]
Police said that of the 14 individuals arrested earlier this morning, 13 were UCLA students and one was not.
[Update: Nov. 18, 7:00 a.m.]
Police arrested 14 people early Friday morning for failure to disperse from an encampment that included about 25 tents in Wilson Plaza.
Those arrested were expected to be cited and released from the UCLA police station after being processed, provided they have valid identification and no criminal record.
At approximately 5:15 a.m., police issued the first of multiple orders to disperse. About 40 protesters left the encampment before arrests began. Those arrested offered no resistance, and there were no injuries. The plaza was cleared by approximately 6 a.m.
Police said they undertook the action in the early morning hours to minimize the possibility of confrontation.
Protesters concerned with rising tuition, increased student debt and other issues gathered on campus Thursday in Wilson Plaza. About 25 tents have been erected.
An "Occupy UCLA" Facebook page noted that the protests were part of an effort to show "solidarity with the encampments and occupations at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, and the global movement for justice."
The Facebook page was created by a group called Take Back UCLA, which says its mission is, in part, to "fight for increased revenue to the UC system and to foster solidarity between campus workers, academic student employees, lecturers, and students."
Although the posting encouraged students to bring tents and warm clothes, campus officials were in contact with organizers to convey that encampments would violate a midnight–to–6 a.m. curfew and policies restricting temporary structures. (See summary of rules and regulations).
While stressing UCLA's respect for students' rights to free expression and assembly, campus officials said maintaining safety on campus was paramount, as was the need to assure that students can attend class and faculty can teach and conduct research.
The protests follow University of California tuition increases in recent years that are a direct result of diminished state support.
California's per-student contribution to the University of California has fallen by more than half since 1990. For the first time in its history, the university is more reliant upon tuition revenues than state support to fund classroom instruction and carry out its academic mission.
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