Issues

68 Occupiers Arrested at Calif. Capitol

REPORTER: One-by-one Occupy Education protesters placed under arrest and hauled out of the capital, but 68 people refusing orders to leave when the building closed at 6:00 tonight. The group of all ages promising they would go peacefully–but loudly, demanding change.

PROTESTER: Reduction in tuition costs, and a refunding of education.

REPORTER: As they send their message to legislators here asking for help, they say their arrests are necessary.

PROTESTER: It sends the message that the state is more concerned with arresting peaceful students and workers who are doing everything that they can to get an education.

REPORTER: With some protesters refusing to walk themselves to jail, legal observers were standing by watching the arrest carefully–and are prepared to help with their cases.

ACLU REPRESENTATIVE: We believe the charges that they’re being hit with, so to speak, are not constitutional, that you have the right to protest and a public building.

REPORTER: Protest they did, hoping these arrest and their educations serve as education to people who serve in some of this building.

REPORTER: All 68 protesters will be brought to the Sacramento County jail and charged with trespassing.

REPORTER: Thank you.

REPORTER: Ron Jones is covering the story for us tonight with more on what happened. What can you tell us?

JONES: I will tell you, a lot of folks were concerned, especially the officers, they were concerned that protesters would possibly try to stop the bus of the arrestees as they were leaving the state capitol. You can actually see the bus leaving the state capital going down to the Sacramento County jail. As they were leaving, you could hear the protesters that were on the streets actually cheering for the arrestees, trying to show them support.

But police pretty much had this one worked out, they cleared the streets and the actions around the capitol. They were ready with right here in and tear gas, some officers there on horseback for crowd control. When we got here tonight there were hundreds of protesters around the state capitol, standing in solidarity with those inside. But hundreds quickly turned into dozens as the night wore on. Many of these protesters are college students and we spoke with one protester who was also a college student–he left right when the officers were about to make these arrests.

JONES: Why did you walk out?

PROTESTER: I walked out because I have school tomorrow. I already missed it today.

JONES: You did not want to get arrested?

PROTESTER: No. I stayed as long as I thought I could.

JONES: As we pointed out, 68 people were arrested inside the state capitol, however, out here, I would say within minutes after the bus left, the crowds quickly dispersed.