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Wake student protesters getting around

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Is the confrontation that took place at a state legislative hearing on Tuesday what the public can expect at the March 23 Wake County school board meeting.

As reported in the N&O's Under the Dome blog, college students were kicked out of a legislative committee meeting after they started chanting their opposition to increased tuition and fees. Sergeants-at-arms asked the students to leave under the threat of arrest.

These same students are the ones who held Monday's protest about what they said was conservative businessman Art Pope's involvement in the Wake County school system. These students plan to attend the next school board meeting.

Here's the press release the group sent about Tuesday's hearing:

(The headline of the e-mail message said student assaulted at joint legislative committee meeting.)



WHO: Students and Alumni of North Carolina Colleges and Universities

WHAT: University Students Assaulted, Forcibly Ejected from Joint Committee on Higher Education Meeting

WHERE: NC Legislative Building, Jones St.

A coalition of student groups from North Carolina colleges and universities gathered in order to attend a meeting of the Joint Committee on Higher Education of the NC State General Assembly and voice concerns about tuition hikes, budget cuts, and college access at the Legislative Building in Raleigh around 1:00 PM today, March 9, 2010. Students had previously petitioned the committee several times to be included on today’s agenda, and these requests had systematically been ignored. A group of a dozen students entered the committee chamber, asked the head of the committee to speak, and were forced to leave. The students began chanting as they left. Law enforcement assaulted a student and threatened the entire group with arrest. While being escorted from the building, several students were forcibly grabbed and directly threatened by General Assembly police.

We believe that university students should have the right to directly voice their opinions to the committee on the issues which will directly affect us, which would be decided on by that committee without being forced out and threatened with arrest.

The student coalition consists of North Carolina college and university students concerned with the rising cost of education and cuts from state-wide education programs. We aim to push law-makers to increase taxes on the corporations and wealthy rather than on the students and workers, prevent privatization of schools, and provide education for all, regardless of immigration status. This coalition is part of the national March 4 Week of Action to Defend Education, a student/worker movement to defend the quality and accessibility of public education.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.