I’ve just put up a short think piece about the events of the last few days at the University of California, but those events are worth describing in detail — particularly since they’re a long way from over. Here’s what happened yesterday:

The UC Regents, as expected, voted to impose huge fee increase on undergraduate and graduate students in the university. These new fees represent a tripling of undergraduate costs in the last decade, and a 50% jump since 2007.

After the vote students at UCLA surrounded Covel Hall, where the meeting had taken place, trapping the regents inside. When a group of regents tried to leave campus students surrounded their van, forcing them to retreat to a nearby building. It would be nearly three hours before they, and UC president Mark Yudof, were able to make their escape.

Even before the vote students had occupied two buildings in the UC system, and the afternoon saw two more takeovers.

Fifty-two students were arrested Thursday night at Mrak Hall, the UC Davis administration building, after they defied police orders to clear the building. One local media source said this morning that “dozens” of those arrested were held overnight.

Students at UC Santa Cruz had occupied Kresge Town Hall, an auditorium, on Wednesday evening, and on Thursday they expanded their action to include Kerr Hall, an administration building. Students in Kerr released a 35-point list of demands on Thursday night, and both occupations were apparently still ongoing as of early this morning.

At UCLA itself an occupation generated some controversy, as activists took over Campbell Hall, a building that houses tutoring facilities and services for students of color on campus, in the early morning hours before the regents’ vote. An article in the Daily Bruin suggested that the takeover was initiated primarily by non-UCLA students, and that local and non-local activists disagreed about the wisdom of occupying that building. The Campbell occupation ended peacefully last night with no arrests.

Afternoon update: The Campbell Hall occupiers have issued a response to their critics, and it’s well worth reading. You can find it here.

Yesterday’s events broke through into the national media in a way that student protests rarely do, gaining major coverage at CNN, the New York Times, and USA Today.

8:00 am | Several dozen students have apparently barricaded themselves inside Wheeler Hall in Berkeley, making that the fifth building occupation in the UC system in the last two days.