Update 8:11 p.m. From AP:

SACRAMENTO – California Highway Patrol officers have begun arresting protesters who remain inside the state Capitol, lifting them by the arms, handcuffing them with plastic ties and leading them out of the central rotunda area.

On Monday night, about 40 protesters remained in the state Capitol more than an hour after the building was closed and officers began threatening them with arrest. The number dwindled from about 100 after officers gave the order to leave.

The number of police soon outnumbered the protesters, who chanted, “No cuts, no fees, education must be free.” They were part of a daylong protest over state budget cuts to education.

Hundreds more protesters and police officers remain outside; dozens of CHP officers in riot gear are standing in rows.

Update 6:34 pm: KQED’s John Myers and Nicole Nguyen report that police have announced that any protesters left in the capitol are officially trespassing. About 10 people remain, and have linked arms inside the rotunda.

(AP) Hundreds of protesters held a sit-in at the state Capitol Monday after a boisterous rally outside protesting budget cuts to higher education.

Organizers had hoped that 10,000 protesters would demonstrate against rising tuition rates and demand that state lawmakers restore funding for higher education. But the actual turnout fell short.

After the rally, hundreds of students lined up to enter the Capitol and filled conference rooms and hallways inside. Some met with lawmakers to lobby for increased funding for higher education.

Outside the building, about 130 officers donned riot gear and stood in rows flanking one side of the Capitol as a CHP helicopter circled overhead.

Four people were arrested during the day’s rallies. They included a 34-year-old man who was arrested earlier in the day for possession of a switchblade knife.

Update 3:35 p.m. KQED’s John Myers estimates about 300 protestors are now in the Capitol building.

John Myers is tweeting live from the scene…

Update 1:25 p.m. Here’s a live stream from the Capitol building.

Protesters Arrested Inside State Capitol 5 March,2012KQED News Staff and Wires

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