Students protest education cuts at Capitol rally

  • Students protesting rising tuition rates at California's centers of high education protest at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 5, 2012. As many as 5,000 of college students, teachers and supporters from around the state converged on the Capitol calling on state lawmakers to restore funding for higher education.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — As many as 5,000 college students and other protesters converged Monday on California's state capital to protest rising tuition rates and demand that state lawmakers restore funding for higher education.

The mood was energetic as students assembled on the steps of the state Capitol, waving signs and chanting "They say cut back, we say fight back." The crowd was a sea of red and white, as many wore T-shirts that said "Refund our Education" and "March March."

Police officers lined up en masse on nearby streets, keeping watch from a distance, and a California Highway Patrol helicopter flew overhead as protesters arrived.

Buses brought hundreds of students in from as far away as the University of California, Riverside, 450 miles south of Sacramento.

Sam Resnick, 20, a history student at Pasadena City College, brought a tent with him to the rally.

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