Cal State LA students protest at governor’s office against higher education cuts

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About 100 Cal State L.A. students rallied outside Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office in downtown Los Angeles today to protest state budget cuts to higher education.

Students blew whistles and shouted slogans like, "They say cutback. We say fight back!"

They held signs that read, “We bail out banks; We bail out Wall Street. What about education?"

Cal State L.A. student Monica Scott addressed the crowd.

“They want the financial crisis to rest on the backs of students, of working class people," she said. "And we’re saying 'No, we don’t accept that.'"

"All right students, we are here to send a message to the governor and state legislature that we are no longer going to sit down while we continue to get our classes cut, and while our fees continue to go up.”

University instructors joined the student demonstrators. Rita Ladesma is president of the Cal State L.A. Faculty Association. She says the governor should protect the state’s education budget from cuts even if it means raising taxes, which he has said he won't do.

“He said a lot of things," Ladesma says of the governor. "He also said he was the education governor. And under his watch he has presided over the systematic dismantling of public higher education. What a legacy. He is not running again. He has an opportunity to change that legacy.“

The governor’s office allowed a small group of students into the building to drop off petitions and have a brief meeting with governor's staff.