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UCLA Protesters cause brief traffic closures in Westwood

by Jared Baker

November 9, 2011 | 5:37 pm

The corner of Wilshire and Westwood as police were clearing the scene following a ReFund California Coalition protest that closed both roads. Photo taken by Michael Weinstein

On Wed. afternoon, a group of demonstrators shut down traffic at the corner of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards in protest of tuition increases and budget cuts for California universities.

The protest was organized by a local branch of the ReFund California Coalition, an organization dedicated to making “Wall Street banks pay for destroying jobs and neighborhoods,” as advertised on its Web site.

According to a report by the local ABC News affiliate, the group of about 200, many of whom were students, marched from Bruin Plaza to a nearby bank.

Unconfirmed reports said that the protest began around 1 p.m., and that at one point protesters were lying in the middle of the street.

Michael Weinstein, postdoctoral fellow at UCLA, told The Journal that at around 3:30 p.m. police had just begun clearing caution tape and the three helicopters had left the scene. 

Westwood-Century City Patch is reporting that 11 protesters were arrested.

Metro LA Alerts posted on Twitter at 3 that bus Lines 20, 720 and 761 would be delayed as they were rerouted around the disturbance.  Normal routes resumed at 3:50, but Metro LA warns riders to expect residual delays through rush hour.

Starting with today’s protest, the ReFund California Coalition has organized a Public Education Action Week to last through Nov. 16 to focus specifically on issues related to financing at schools universities throughout California.  Their next event is on Nov. 16, when they plan to attend the CSU Trustees meeting.

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