Student Protesters Shut Down Most Of UC Santa Cruz

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Student protesters at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shut down most of the campus Thursday as part of statewide demonstrations against budget cuts to higher education.

Hundreds of students blocked all entrances to the coastal campus and prevented vehicles from entering, said Josh Brahinsky, a graduate student and union representative who helped organize the action.

The protest at Santa Cruz is part of demonstrations being held by college students at about 30 campuses across California and was scheduled to coincide with state budget negotiations, organizers said. Rallies, marches, teach-ins and walkouts to call on lawmakers to restore funding to higher education were also planned.

The campus protests are a prelude to a major "Occupy the Capitol" rally in Sacramento on Monday. Dozens of students and faculty members plan to march roughly 100 miles from the San Francisco Bay area to the state capital over the next few days.

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