Students held signs with startling numbers like "36,000 students of color go to high schools with almost no sports."
"We have a student debt amount that is more than what the government spends in a year on all its programs put together."
There were calls for unity to end hate and bigotry in all forms for the three slain Muslim students slain in Chapel Hill, N.C. last week.
"At the beginning of the semester," explains historian and lecturer Leleua Loupe, "students don't know history or understand the world around them."
President Obama last week proposed to bring the cost of two years of community college "down to zero" for all Americans.
The decision to hike tuition has kicked off a new round in the long struggle between the university and the State of California over funding for the 10-campus system.
News stories have documented the ravaging of the district's finances by local banks and out-of-town educational consulting companies.
Students shared their stories of having to work low-wage jobs to pay high tuition costs.
The new segregation, by class and income, harms students just as the old state-legalized segregation in the Solid South did.
They walked in silence holding signs that read "Hands Up - Don't Shoot" and posters with the names of victims of police brutality from around the country including New Haven.