UC Berkeley Day of Action planned for Wednesday

Brochures and flyers across the UC Berkeley campus adverstise the Occupy Cal walkouts planned for Wednesday and Thursday.
Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff
Brochures and flyers across the UC Berkeley campus adverstise the Occupy Cal walkouts planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

As Nov. 9 — dubbed a “Day of Action for Public Education” — approaches, UC Berkeley students, faculty and campus leaders are expected to come out to protest against budget cuts and tuition hikes in California public universities.

According to organizers, the all-day Wednesday protest is scheduled to kick off with a “teach-out” at 8 a.m. — in which GSIs and professors from various departments will teach their morning classes that day on Sproul Plaza — followed by a student walkout and rally at noon and a general assembly in the evening, the location of which is yet to be determined.

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Charlie Eaton, a UC Berkeley graduate student and financial secretary of UAW Local 2865 — a union representing more than 12,000 graduate student workers in the UC system and one of the main organizers of the protest — said he expects the participation of several dozen GSIs, many of whom are also scheduled to join the rally at noon after the teach-out.

In addition to the union, organizers of the event include the Public Education Coalition, according to Shane Boyle, head steward of the union.

“Any group that is active around the budget cuts on campus will be involved,” he said, adding that he expects thousands to attend on Wednesday.

Organizers met Monday evening to discuss possible plans for an encampment on campus and a march to the Bank of America.

In an email to the campus community, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande said that encampments will not be allowed on campus.

“In these challenging times, we simply cannot afford to spend our precious resources and, in particular, student tuition on costly and avoidable expenses associated with violence or vandalism,” they wrote in the email.

Boyle said Wednesday could mark the largest student protest since Sept. 24, 2009, when 5,000 students, faculty members and union members rallied to protest a similar issue.

According to UCPD Capt. Margo Bennett, there will be extra police staffing at the event to ensure safety.

CalSERVE Senator Andrew Albright said he hopes the protest will bring a greater sense of awareness to the student community regarding the problems that currently face California’s funding for public education.

“I think walkouts give students a really good chance to voice their opinions in a big way,” Albright said. “They might not have the opportunity to speak at a regents’ meeting or go to Sacramento to lobby — (but) a walkout gives them a chance to speak out and show their discontent for public education in California.”

Albright added that he believes the protest will be joined by similar ones at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA.

On Monday, ASUC President Vishalli Loomba and External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman, as well as Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, sent emails to the community encouraging students to participate in the peaceful demonstrations against the higher education budget crisis.

On the faculty side, Mark Richards, executive dean of the College of Letters and Science, also sent out an email urging faculty members to “consider making special efforts to reach out to students during this period.”

UC Berkeley junior Marco Amaral, a student organizer, said he expects higher participation on Wednesday than in the past due to the nature of the protest and support from nearby Occupy Oakland.

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  • KDiehl

    I’m confused. You mention Nov. 9th (which is Friday), and Wednesday (which is Nov. 7th). And, I’ve heard that Nov. 8 is the planned walkout at Cal. Hard to organize people without clear info!

    • KDiehl

      Never mind – I’m looking for info on 2012.

  • Anonymouse1234

    $20 says masked anarchists will be there with the “Book Bloc” system of improvised riot shields in place, just like last time.

    I wonder if they’ll try to grab a security guard’s weapon again this time, or if they’ll content themselves with merely assaulting officers instead of trying to steal their weapons.

    • TruthHurts

      “masked anarchists” = Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs


      its so obvious now, the people cannot be fooled. 

      • Truth hurts TruthHurts

        You’re kidding yourself if you think that every “masked anarchist” is a provocateur.  They exist, they just don’t look like 300lb linemen.

        • More Truth

          yes, your right…Those in MASKS could be just people who don’t like the police taking pictures/ videotaping them. At the November 2 Strike in Oakland many police officers were TAKING PICTURES AND VIDEOTAPING  those who participated in the STRIKE.sadly this is becoming there norm for police across the nation…http://cangress.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/safer-citiesfor-whom/police-taking-picture/

          • The police videotape so-called “protesters” wearing masks because those individuals usually intend to commit crimes such as vandalism or assault, and those videos can be used later for court evidence. There is no need for peaceful, legitimate protesters to wear masks, so your insinuation that there is some nefarious “police state” activity is ludicrous.

          • 2millionpeopleinprisonintheUSA

            Nefarious police state activity is American as Apple pie. i.e. COINTELPRO 

      • TruthHurts

        ….or these “masked anarchists ” you speak of….. could be people who don’t like the police taking pictures of them

      • [“masked anarchists” = Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs]

        Yeah, right. You expect people to believe that nonsensical crap?

  • Anonymous

    The tuition hikes are partially due to U.C.’s policy of bidding against private Ivy League universities for top faculty talent.  The dean of Letters and Science knows if faculty members don’t support a walkout (to protest their own high salaries) then students will put 2 an 2 together and question why faculty salaries are going up even as state support goes down.

    • Occupycalsupport

      I agree that faculty salaries at a public university should not rival those at Ivy League schools, but I don’t think this is the right place to direct our anger about fee increases.  It is the combination of huge salaries for senior administration as well as the absolutely insane bureaucratic administrative bloat at the university (see here:  http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/2010/09/bains-blow-to-berkeley.html) that account for a much larger piece of the pie.  The real culprit here is the State disinvesting from education, investing in prisons, and refusing to raise revenue by taxing people who made huge sums of money from publicly financed bank bailouts.  This is why I support ReFund California:  http://www.makebankspaycalifornia.com

      • [It is the combination of huge salaries for senior administration as well as the absolutely insane bureaucratic administrative bloat at the university]

        True, but why do we have that administrative bloat in the first place? One big reason it exists is because of the ongoing proliferation of “fluff” courses of study such as the various and sundry racial/ethnic grievance/victimization majors that provide neither academic rigor nor marketable job skills, but advance the political agenda of a certain segment of the faculty as well as provide majors for all those affirmative action/”diversity” students who could never make it through a legitimate college-level undergraduate degree program in the first place. Creating separate “departments” around these programs is another tactic to provide patronage to colleagues who have no marketable job skills and are only “employable” in an academic environment.

        Last but certainly not least has been the Politically Correct adaptation of agendas that were never part of the original UC charter in the first place, such as “political activism” and special programs to make sure that we have our share of boys who wear dresses and illegal aliens attending college. All the above are major contributors to the issue you describe above.

        [The real culprit here is the State disinvesting from education,
        investing in prisons, and refusing to raise revenue by taxing people who made huge sums of money from publicly financed bank bailouts.]

        Funny how many of the people who made “huge sums of money” on the bailouts are also supporters of your buddy Obama. The people on Wall Street didn’t write banking legislation or authorize the bailouts (which those of us who are true fiscal conservatives were opposed to anyway). The individuals who passed the TARP and bailout legislation where the President and the legislators in DC. Why aren’t you protesting them instead of private businesses? Or does that not advance your own political agenda?

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, workers lacking high school diplomas saw their unemployment rate jump 6.6 percentage points in June vs. a 2.3 point increase for college grads who has their degree from one of the High Speed Universities