NEW YORK — Thousands of U.S. college students will walk out of class Thursday in a coordinated day of protest against what may be another year of significant higher education budget cuts by state legislatures.
College students have organized a national day of action with student groups, unions and local Occupy Wall Street offshoots as well as the Occupy Colleges group. Students nationwide will protestever-increasing student debt and continued budget cuts. In addition, they’ll raise awareness of campus-specific issues.
“Occupy has been based around the interaction of local issues and global issues,” Artem Raskin with Occupy UCDavis said. “We try to tie it to specific issues on our campus, but at the same time keeping in mind that these local issues have implications as well.
In California, where students have been demonstrating since 2009 against raising fees, laying off staff, hiring outside contractors for services and partnering with U.S. Bank to turn student ID cards into debit cards, a coalition of unions and student groups are protesting at 20 campuses. A unifying goal is to build support for a ballot initiative that would raise taxes on millionaires that organizers said would increase state revenue and curtail further budget cuts.
Each California campus is also identifying its own issues. University of California, San Diego, protesters have issued demands for increased funding for areas and offices on campus. The students also demand that UC reverse all funding cuts, tuition hikes and layoffs over the past several years.
Demonstrators with Occupy UCDavis plan to hold a “funeral for public education,” at 11 a.m. on their campus.