Riots, Protests Consume University of California–Berkeley

Students are upset over racial tensions and budget problems at state’s flagship school.

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The University of California–Berkeley is known for its student activism, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that students at the San Francisco Bay area school have been involved this week in protests and riots, both on and off campus.

The rioters and protesters have clashed with police, resulting in arrests, according to two Daily Californian reports. Five students were arrested Monday during the UC Student Association's annual lobbying day in Sacramento. Police arrested two people off campus during riots in Berkeley early Friday morning.

On campus on Monday, roughly 200 people silently demonstrated to draw attention to racial tensions at Berkeley and across the UC system, the Daily Californian reports. The students sat in front of Berkeley's Sather Gate before moving to California Hall to deliver a letter intended for UC–Berkeley President Robert Birgeneau. (Birgeneau wasn't on campus.)

Such is the state of affairs at UC–Berkeley, where it seems distress is at an all-time high. The Daily Californian's editorial board writes about the tensions on campus in its March 2 editorial.

The state of California has been dealing with countless protests—some peaceful, some violent, some destructive—since the state's university system raised fees 32 percent and slashed education funding. It only adds to the pressure Berkeley is already feeling when students are upset about perceptions of racial discrimination at schools within the UC system.

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