Organizers hope that UC Berkeley students will take part in a campus walkout planned Wednesday as a show of support for protests in the East Bay.
The walkout is expected to begin at 11 a.m. with students meeting in Sproul Plaza before leaving for Oakland, according to the Reclaim UC website. The protest is meant to endorse the general strike — a strike of all workers connected to Occupy Oakland — that will start the same day.
In keeping with other Occupy protests that have been operated democratically, much else is being left unplanned and will be determined by those who attend.
Once in Oakland, the students may join the general Occupy Oakland protest or protest outside the UC Office of the President. If the protest occurs at the office, it would be meant as both a protest against tuition hikes and an extension of Occupy Oakland, according to Amanda Armstrong, a graduate student and an organizer of the walkout.
“The regents and President Yudof should be understood as part of the 1 percent,” Armstrong said. “They are making unaccountable decisions about our education.”
UC administrators have been criticized for their handling of recent severe state funding cuts to the UC that have led to, among other things, drastically higher tuition.
The office could not be reached for comment on possible preparations for the protest.
The organizers remain hopeful student attendance for the walkout will be high but said participation could be low because the walkout has not been widely advertised. In an effort to encourage more to protest, the graduate student union and Public Education Coalition endorsed the walkout, according to Armstrong.
“Undoubtedly a number of students, workers and staff will be taking part in the march,” said Shane Boyle, another organizer of the walkout.
The decision to first hold a walkout at the campus was made at the Occupy Oakland meeting Thursday, according to Boyle. Among the crowd of more than 1,000, approximately 25 UC Berkeley students collectively decided to hold the walkout, Armstrong said.
The movement is also supported by the Occupy Berkeley protest still under way, according to UC Berkeley junior Bo-Peter Laanen. While not directly involved in the walkout’s organization, Occupy Berkeley protesters plan on participating in the march, according to Laanen.