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UC Berkeley Classrooms Occupied By Tuition Hike Protesters

BERKELEY (CBS / AP) - Police say that a demonstration involving dozens of student protesters who had occupied a building on the University of California, Berkeley campus has dispersed.

UC Berkeley police Lt. Marc DeCoulode said late Thursday that the majority of the crowd left after police responded when some of the protesters began throwing rocks. He said the heavier police presence "stabilized" the situation.

DeCoulode said one protester was arrested, but the charge was not immediately clear.

Demonstrators upset about tuition hikes and state budget cuts held a noon rally on Sproul Plaza on Thursday before entering Tolman Hall.

Organizers and university police said there has been one confrontation between police and protestors involving pepper spray.

Callie Maidhof, a Cal student speaking for "Resistance Social," the group that organized Thursday's protest, said she saw police spray at least four students with pepper spray Thursday afternoon.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

University police said that one university police officer was "penned in" by students blocking the building's doors and used pepper spray to escape the situation.

Protesters say the University of California is becoming increasingly unaffordable as the 10-campus UC system raises tuition in response to state cuts to higher education.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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