Two UNO protesters handcuffed after scuffle with campus police

September 01, 2010

A student demonstration at the University of New Orleans turned rowdy today when protesters scuffled with campus police, who arrested two of them and led them away in handcuffs in a police cruiser. One of the students was sprayed by police with mace.

Campus police chief, Thomas Harrington, told a reporter that his left ankle was injured in the melee. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The arrests followed a 45-minute rally where as many as 100 students showed up to protest further cuts in the state appropriation that UNO receives.

While marching toward the school’s amphitheater, the student protesters stopped in a first floor hallway in the administration building and began chanting, “No more cuts! No more cuts!”

When campus police told them to leave, some refused and a fight broke out. The arrests followed.

Most other protesters proceeded to the amphitheater, where they listened to several speakers before one invited them onstage for a “dance party.” Reggae music blared.

Earlier this morning, about a half-dozen students barricaded themselves inside a UNO classroom building.

That ended at about 8:40 a.m., when the students exited Milneburg Hall.

UNO students and personnel are irate because about $14.5 million in state money already has been sliced from the school’s budget since January 2009 and because more cuts may combine academic departments and eliminate majors in fields such as management, marketing, English, science, mathematics and social studies. There would be a sharp reduction in the number of part-time teachers, faculty teaching loads would increase, and class sizes would be larger.

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