US university students have joined the anti-corporate ‘Occupy’ movement to express solidarity with the protests which are spreading rapidly across the country.
Students at e San Francisco State University have set up their first Occupy encampment in protest against a planned tuition fee increase.
Similar demonstrations are expected to be held in other universities across the country over the rising cost of tuition.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Richard Becker, from the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, to share his opinion on this issue.
Following is a transcript of the interview:
Press TV: Tell us about the situation, do you think that it is growing, the occupation movement is growing now that it appears that the universities are getting involved in this?
Becker: Yes it is very important that the universities are; this is a major expansion which has been going on for some time now of the Occupy movement. It started in a number of cities, spread very rapidly and just a few weeks ago, there were demonstrations in fifteen hundred cities in the United States on the same day and now it is spreading into the campuses where there is great anger, particularly over the issue of the cost of education.
And the cost of education in California in the public universities, in community colleges 30 years ago, 35 years ago it was free, in the community colleges even 20 years ago there was no charge for students to attend. And now those costs are skyrocketed and in the California University has been tripled.
So students are taking out loans, huge loans, student loans from the same banks that have been the focus of the occupy protest and those banks at the present time, student loans are one trillion dollar business and they pay very high interest rates to the banks, the same banks that there have been a thunder of these protests.
So it makes a great deal of sense that the student movement which is growing very rapidly is joining together with the Occupy movement that has already been in existence for a few months now and I think this comes to be a very powerful movement in the future.
Press TV: Well Richard Becker, as you were talking and talking about for example universities in California even junior colleges that 20 years ago were actually free, and now it seems that continuously now the tuition is going up, reminds me the situation that used to be in the UK where the universities were free and now the students there are having the same complaint.
I want to look at the international effect or relationship between this movement and it seems that more and more people are realizing that, that 99 percent is not just talking about the United States but those of the UK and other countries that it is all related together, and that one percent that is the target is not just the one percent in United States but that one percent globally. Your perspective.
Becker: The one percent globally; the richest actually in the United States and also in England, in Germany, Japan, many other countries control all the world’s productive wealth. They make all the decisions about what to be produced and not produced, who gets hired and who does not get hired. It is really the dictatorship of the rich over the rest of us and I think this is the idea that has caught on.
So you have; we saw the other day, just a few days ago in United Kingdom a strike of two million public workers, because the public workers, students, all public services have come under attack and why, because the United States or Germany are poorer today than they were 20 or 30 years ago? No, they are richer but the wealth has become more and more concentrated at the very top.