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Students protest California tuition hikes

FLASHBACK: Students and faculty attend a noontime rally in Sproul Plaza on the University of California campus in Berkeley, California on September 24, 2009. Students held a one day walkout to protest layoffs and tuition increases. UPI/Terry Schmitt
FLASHBACK: Students and faculty attend a noontime rally in Sproul Plaza on the University of California campus in Berkeley, California on September 24, 2009. Students held a one day walkout to protest layoffs and tuition increases. UPI/Terry Schmitt | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 14 (UPI) -- Thousands of students took part in demonstrations protesting budget cuts and increased tuition at California State University campuses, officials said.

The students participated in a "Day of Class Action" at 23 Cal State campuses across the state Wednesday protesting tuition hikes of 10 percent this fall. The school also stands to lose $500 million in state funding.

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The Los Angeles Times said funding cuts and tuition hikes are possible in many other states and rallies and teach-ins were also held in Oregon, New Jersey and Boston.

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Organizers said the goal of the rallies is to increase public awareness of the consequences of cuts in higher education. Additionally, they want faculty and students to have a greater voice in policy decisions.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed cutting $1.4 billion from the state's higher education budget and the cuts could go higher if a budget stalemate isn't overcome.

"The harder you hit us, the louder we get," said Donald Bessom, a political science graduate student.

UCLA students will get into the act Thursday with a concert and rally near the state office building downtown.

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The event, called "Can You Hear Us Now," is expected to attract hundreds of students from UCLA and other UC campuses, the Times said.

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