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News from the struggle

March 1, 2002 | Page 11

University of Texas tuition hike

By Warren Craig

AUSTIN, Texas--The University of Texas (UT) Board of Regents passed the largest increase in student fees in UT-Austin's history February 14. The increase will cost most students an additional $230 a semester, with incremental increases of $50 per semester over five years.

In the week leading up to the board's decision, student activists waged an inspiring campaign to stop the increase, winning the support of a majority of UT students. In less than six days, more than 2,700 signed a petition demanding that the board vote against fee increases, and more than 100 rallied on campus.

With banners that read "Keep education affordable" and "Reclaim our school," students and staff spoke out about the effects of the increase in a time of recession and about the undemocratic decision-making process. After the rally, 60 protesters marched into the tower and up to the president's office, chanting "Stop the fee!"

The strength of our action, considered illegal under UT's stone-age "free speech" policies, forced UT President Larry Faulkner to address the crowd of protesters in front of his office.

After the defeat, many students became even angrier at the UT administration and the legislature, who together have declared war on affordable, quality education.

San Francisco antiwar demonstration

ABOUT 600 people mobilized by the Bay Area Antiwar Coalition demonstrated in San Francisco February 23. The march had three demands--stop the war in Afghanistan, no racist scapegoating and defend civil liberties.

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