Protesters briefly brought the UC Board of Regents meeting to a halt Thursday morning.
Thursday was the final day the regents were set to meet at the UCSF Mission Bay campus this week. Over the course of the three-day meeting, the regents discussed a wide range of topics, including the possibility of increasing nonresident enrollment in the UC system and approving the university’s 2013-14 budget, among other topics.
At around 10 a.m. Thursday, a group of about 10 stood up and began to chant, calling for increased accessibility at the university and for the regents to reduce tuition — echoing concerns brought up during the public comment section of the meeting earlier that morning. After repeatedly asking the demonstrators to sit down, board chair Sherry Lansing called the meeting to recess and asked UCSF’s police department to clear the auditorium.
The regents exited the room while police formed a line in front of the protesters and told them that if they did not exit the room within five minutes, they would be arrested.
Protesters remained huddled together for a few minutes before collectively deciding to leave. They exited the room with their arms linked, chanting, “Hey hey! Ho ho! UC Regents have to go!”
At least a few members of the group were undergraduate and graduate students who bused to the meeting from UC Santa Cruz.
“I was informed that there would be a chant probably moments before it was,” said Alana Bradley, a UC Santa Cruz sophomore who was one of the protesters who walked out of the regents meeting. “I didn’t know what the action would be, but I knew there would be one.”
Although the group had not decided on the details, the plan had always been to make the protesters’ voices heard by causing some sort of disruption at the meeting, said Sarah Cowan, a first year graduate student in the UC Berkeley history of art department.
The group from the meeting joined a similarly themed protest already taking place outside. Together, the group of more than 80 protesters marched through the streets surrounding UCSF’s Mission Bay campus holding banners, one of which read “Occupy Cal.”
UC Berkeley student protesters made an announcement as the group dispersed less than an hour later that they would be regrouping at 2 p.m. Thursday to camp on Sproul Plaza.
On Nov. 15 of last year, protesters held a massive day of action, culminating in a speech by public policy professor Robert Reich attended by thousands.