BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Anger over increasing tuition and school budget cuts boiled over as students across the country staged rowdy demonstrations that led to clashes with police and the rush-hour shutdown of a major freeway in California.
Students, teachers, parents and school employees rallied and marched Thursday at college campuses, public parks and government buildings in many U.S. cities in what was called the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Public Education.
In California, protesters evaded police and walked onto Interstate 880 near downtown Oakland just before 5 p.m., forcing the closure of the freeway in both directions for more than an hour and causing traffic to back up for miles.
Police arrested more than 150 people, said Officer Sam Morgan, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
One protester suffered serious injuries after jumping from the elevated freeway while officers were making arrests.
Elsewhere, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police arrested at least 15 people protesting tuition hikes after demonstrators tried to enter an administrative building to deliver petitions to the chancellor.
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Tuition costs continue to rise for students, due largely to government intervention with loans, grants, etc. I know of one college in our region that is raising tuition costs by 5.9%. Long gone are the days when students could earn enough during summer months to cover room & board, tuitions, books, etc. for an academic year, as when I was a college student.