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Occupy UCLA campout in Bruin Plaza short-lived

By Loic Hostetter and Danyal Budare

Nov. 1, 2011 5:11 p.m.

[UPDATED at 6:12 p.m.:
Occupy UCLA pitched its first tent in Bruin Plaza Tuesday, but its campout was short-lived.]

Originally scheduled to begin Monday, the first tent was pitched by the group late Tuesday morning, but university police and the fire marshal told the group their tent needed to be taken down before they left Tuesday afternoon because they did not have the necessary permits.

According to the California Code of Regulations, temporary shelters, such as tents, are not permitted on UC campuses, unless appropriate permits and official permission has been granted, said UCPD sergeant Miguel Banuelos.

The group’s occupation of campus will have to wait for other reasons. Occupy UCLA simply does not have the support base to stage a campout, said Joseph Silva, a third-year history student.

“We don’t have the numbers right now,” he said.

Occupy UCLA formed three weeks ago on Facebook, and has held several meetings since in Bruin Plaza. The group’s Facebook page lists 310 members, but turnout to the meetings have only attracted a handful of students.

Silva said the group aims to protest further tuition increases at the next UC Board of Regents meeting, which will be held in two weeks in UC San Francisco.

“The UC Regents are by all means the top 1 percent everyone is fighting against,” said John Brown, a union organizer at UCLA. Brown added that some of the board members are corporate executives, serving on boards of corporations like Walt Disney and Bank of America.

The regents are set to discuss further measures to mitigate the UC’s budget shortfall at their next meeting.

Compiled by Danyal Budare and Loic Hostetter

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