Hundreds expected to attend ‘Million Student March’ on UC Berkeley campus

Campanile by D.H. Parks
A ‘Million Student March’ is scheduled to take place on the UC Berkeley campus at 2 p.m. Nov. 12. Photo: D.H. Parks

Hundreds of protesters are expected to take part in a “Million Student March” demonstration Thursday, Nov. 12, on the UC Berkeley campus at 2 p.m.

UC Berkeley students and other activists plan to join a nationwide day of action demanding tuition-free public higher education, cancellation of student debt and a $15 wage for all university workers.

According to the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), the student governance body, “over 700 activists will descend on Upper Sproul Plaza at 2pm to hold the UC Berkeley Million Student March in conjunction with universities across the nation.”

The ASUC says the protest is expected to include Berkeley High students, city of Berkeley community members and 500 nurses from the California Nurses Association.

The Day of Action is being held to raise awareness about three key demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 per hour campus-wide minimum wage at every college in the country.


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The demonstration follows a significant protest that culminated on the Cal campus last week, after hundreds of Berkeley High students staged a walkout Nov. 5. The action was triggered by the discovery of a threatening, racist message left on the screen of one of the high school’s library computers.

BUSD spokesman Mark Coplan said there had been some indication Berkeley High School students might join Thursday’s tuition-focused march. He said both Superintendent Donald Evans and BUSD School Board member Karen Hemphill met with BHS Black Student Union leaders Thursday morning to assess the situation.

This time last year, on Nov. 24, several hundred UC Berkeley students staged a walkout and marched through the streets of downtown Berkeley to protest proposed tuition increases across the UC system.


Some universities across the country, including Occidental College in Los Angeles, are also holding walkouts today to show solidarity with the recent race-related events at the University of Missouri.

Read more on the demands being made by the #MillionStudentsMarch, as well as who is endorsing the demonstration, on the ASUC press release, issued on Nov. 11. Follow Berkeley protest activities on Twitter.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder and editorial director at Berkeleyside. Email: tracey@berkeleyside.com.