Occupy Sacramento: Protesters Take Over Capitol

Higher education cuts are causing protesters to descend on Sacramento.

Patrick Walton

Thousands of high-minded marchers and protesters -- most affiliated with student groups, some with Occupy Sacramento -- made their way into the state Capitol Monday.

The "Fund our Future" rally attracted sign-waving rabble-rousers from the California State Student Association and the University of California Student Association, according to the Sacramento Bee. The marchers started out at a local park, and expect to attract up to 10,000 protesters to their cause.

The marchers are angry with the rising cost of college tuition and want the state legislature to restore cuts to higher education funding, which has taken a severe hit over the past few years as California struggles to organize its finances. 

Students were "occupying" the rotunda during business hours (picture to the right), but the CHP told NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez that if people plan to stay past 6 p.m. they will be arrested. Students vowed to stay.

Hernandez also reports the CHP has blocked off all entrances into the rotunda.  By 2 p.m. people were no longer being allowed in. More than 300 people occupied the Capitol, and the crowd was described as energetic.

Classes at City College of San Francisco were cut mid-semester, leaving students in the lurch, without credits and with expensive books, thanks to budget cuts, it was reported.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addresed the group on the west steps of the Capitol. (picture to the left)

Protesters identifying themselves as Occupy Sacramento are also in the mix, though it's unsure where the students' associations end and that movement begins.

A proposal to restore funding via a "millionaire's tax" at the ballot may restore funding to students, but the protesters today are not endorsing that measure, according to reports.

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