Updated at the bottom with blood, pepper spray and a clash between protesters and police. First posted at 7 a.m.
The Occupy-affiliated protesters who scared the UC Board of Regents into cancelling their big meeting this week will be at the Cal State Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach today to decry proposed increases in student fees.
The ReFund California movement will be at the trustees meeting starting at 8:30 a.m.
It's planning to follow up on the board's 10 a.m. vote with a “march on banks” that will culminate at a Wells Fargo at …
… 111 West Ocean Boulevard.
The ReFund movement is tying banks' allegedly “greedy, irresponsible and predatory business practices” to the unprecedented rise in public university fees in California. Its motto is “make banks pay.” ReFund states:
As these banks and their executives continue to profit, the California higher education system has suffered deep budget cuts resulting in the layoffs of thousands of teachers and workers, cuts to research projects vital for progress in public health and other areas, and record tuition hikes that have caused students – especially students of color – to drop out or delay education plans.
Cal State trustees this morning will be weighing a $498 tuition hike for the school year starting in fall 2012.
It has asked UC, Cal State and community college board members to sign a pledge vowing to support “a federal sales tax on Wall Street financial transactions, which would generate needed revenue for education, and the reduction of underwater mortgage debt, which would put more money in the pockets of middle class families.”
The movement's planned march on the UC Regents' meeting Tuesday spooked the board into cancelling. UC leaders stated that “rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation” would show their faces at the confab.
Rogue elements? Like the SEIU 720? The union, part of L.A.'s political power structure, which was a driving force behind ReFund's occupation of a Bank of America last week.
Anyway, all the fun happens this morning CSU Office of the Chancellor, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach.
Are the cops ready? You betcha.
Sgt. Greg Schirmer of Long Beach police told the Weekly:
We're prepared to allow them their free speech and also make sure we maintain order and lawful assembly.
But, if they get inside the bank, and the Wells Fargo folks want them to amscray, cops will take action, Schirmer told us:
If they request them to leave and they don't, we'd get involved.
You've been warned.
[Update]: City News Service reports that about 100 protesters showed up to the trustees' meeting and made enough noise that a trustees' move to heed the CSU Finance Committee recommendation to go ahead with the tuition hike was delayed.
CNS reports that one cop suffered a bloody arm glass door was shattered in a clash with demonstrators and that three of the protesters were at least detained.
Oh, and pepper spray filled the air.
[Update No. 2]: The trustees passed the 9 percent hike behind closed doors.