Regents meeting halted again by protests

Protests sparked by Thursday’s UC Board of Regents meeting at UC Riverside stalled proceedings for almost an hour and also later resulted in the detainment of at least three protesters.

The initial protest marked the second consecutive time that demonstrations have held up a board meeting. During the public comment portion of the Thursday meeting, which started at about 8:45 a.m., an audience of students and others expressed frustration with the regents and a perceived privatization of the University of California.

Just as the next segment of the meeting was set to begin at about 9:40 a.m., demonstrators in the room held an impromptu human mic check — a form of protest characteristic of the Occupy movement — and established a public forum.

The regents deliberated momentarily and then warned protesters that the meeting might not continue.

“If this meeting continues to be interrupted, we will not be able to continue the meeting,” said board chair Sherry Lansing.

The regents retreated to a private room shortly thereafter. Lansing officially called the meeting to order again at about 10:45 a.m. and said the student protesters had “left peacefully.”

The interruption was significant enough that the board was not able to complete all of its scheduled business, according to UC spokesperson Steve Montiel.

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience that it caused everybody,” Lansing said.

In a similar incident at November’s board meeting — held across four UC campuses via teleconference — interruptions from protests halted the meeting at three of the campuses for over a half hour.

Aside from the initial morning protest, around 350 people engaged in demonstrations in the area surrounding the Highlander Union Building, where the regents met, according to UC Riverside spokesperson Kris Lovekin.

As of about 6:30 p.m., Lovekin said three people were detained in connection with the protests. According to Lovekin, one of those protesters will be released without charges, while the other two have charges recommended against them, though she could not provide any further details.

Damian Ortellado of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.

J.D. Morris is the university news editor.