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CUNY Students Protesting Tuition Hikes Clash With Cops, 15 Arrested (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Cuny Protest

First Posted: 11/22/11 02:18 PM ET Updated: 11/22/11 06:51 PM ET

CUNY students protesting tuitions hikes attempted to enter a board of trustees meeting at Baruch College Monday night, only to clash with baton-wielding police. The Daily News reports 15 protesters were arrested.

Students United For A Free CUNY--who are opposed to a proposed tuition hike of $300 per year over each of the next four years, a measure which CUNY’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on next Monday--met in Madison Square park at 3PM and marched onto Baruch's campus at 4. The Board Of Trustees were scheduled to hold a public hearing at 5. According to The Ticker, CUNY's student newspaper:

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the protesters rushed through the 25th street entrance, banging on the revolving doors against the resistance of the police. After they entered the lobby, at around 5:45 p.m., the police began to make arrests, a few of which required at least four or five police officers.

Anywhere from 200 to 300 protesters were on the scene. trying to make their way up to the meeting on the 14th floor. When CUNY police officers surrounded the entrances and tried to push back the crowd, protesters formed a line and push past. That's when officers took out their batons and began to swing.

During the fighting, students on the higher floors dropped books down on police and the protesters outside the lobby banged on the glass while chanting, "Shame!"

Michael Alexander Gould-Wartofsky shot a series of videos from the fight.

Meanwhile, the board of trustees meeting went on inside the building. Dan Poston, a member of Occupy CUNY, was sent a statement by a grad student who managed to get in the room. Poston sent a copy to The Huffington Post:

Valerie Beal, a wealthy investment banker turned philanthropist, chaired the meeting for the trustees and admonished one student who had just tearfully described how she saw her chances of escaping her crime-ridden neighborhood now disappearing despite years of hard, round-the-clock work; Beal was smug, declaring that no one should imply anything about what the trustees do for society, in apparent reference to the student's attempt to point out that the trustees lacked experience as members of the working class.

Students are now calling for a massive protest at the 11/28 Board of Trustees hearing, both to condemn police violence against the movement, and to protest the tuition hikes. Full-time resident undergraduate students now pay about $5,100 per year in tuition, according to The News.

Check out some photos below.

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Filed by Christopher Mathias  |