Occupy Cal plans encampment despite Chancellor’s warning

In direct violation of campus policy, protesters plan to set up encampments as part of Wednesday’s Day of Action.

Demonstrators will take part in Occupy Cal, a central component of the larger November Days of Action protest, when they establish an encampment on campus, according to Shane Boyle, campus head steward of UAW Local 2865, a union representing graduate student workers. They plan to do so despite a campuswide email sent Monday night in which Chancellor Robert Birgeneau explicitly outlined the campus prohibition on encampments on campus property.

#occupycal: Read complete Daily Cal coverage

“Encampments or occupations of buildings are not allowed on our campus,” Birgeneau said in the email, which was also signed by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande. “This means that members of our community are free to meet, discuss, debate, and protest, but will not be allowed to set up tents or encampment structures.”

UCPD will take “appropriate actions” to enforce the Chancellor’s directive, according to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao.

Still, protesters plan to go forward with the encampment, according to campus union head steward and organizer Amanda Armstrong.

“When we decided on this, we knew that in the campus code of conduct encampments were prohibited,” she said. “We basically don’t see that as a legitimate restriction on free speech and free assembly, so we’re going to engage in civil disobedience to assert our right to occupy a public open space.”

While the administration maintains a strong stance against any encampment, the ASUC endorsed the Occupy Cal movement, as well as the larger November Days of Action, in a bill sponsored by CalSERVE Senator Andrew Albright and Cooperative Movement Senator Elliot Goldstein.

“I’m not opposed to it as long as it’s done in a peaceful manner,” said Albright.

But Albright said he doubts the ability of the ASUC to provide any material support to the occupiers due to logistical issues.

Armstrong expects a few dozen people to begin setting up the encampment tomorrow.

“When it’s able to take hold, it will grow to who knows how large — dozens, maybe hundreds,” said Boyle.

However, concerns about a potentially heavy-handed response from UCPD and the administration have worried organizers, according to Boyle.

As a result, the demonstrators have kept both the time at which the encampment will begin and the location of the encampment secret.

The group expects to make an official decision at a general assembly meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Armstrong.

In mid-October a general assembly convened an encampment working group — composed of undergraduate students, graduate students and union members —  responsible for preparing for Occupy Cal. Since then the group has acquired tents, gathered medical supplies, arranged for legal support and even reached out to Occupy Oakland to obtain food surpluses, according to Armstrong, a member of the working group.

Both Occupy Oakland and Occupy Berkeley endorsed efforts to occupy Cal at their respective general assemblies.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Guest

    I don’t understand why people have to set up camps. The administration has already allowed 24/7 protests on Sproul (provided no camps are set up).  What will people gain from sleeping on Sproul? Why cost the school even more money to try to regulate these camps while disrupting student activity? I doubt this will gain favorable responses, but I really do not understand.

  • Kooo1988

    Berkeley police beating Cal students before retreating.

  • obama

    Umm..they are worried about a potentially heavy police response? Of course the police will react violently to anyone who crosses the line. The chancellor has already explicitly stated that having an encampment on campus is illegal. As a cop, it is their job to uphold the law. Anyone who resists the cops damn well deserves to be cuffed up.

    Also, there have already been several protests about the tuition hikes, none of which produced any successful results. All this tuition protesting is really starting to get old.

    Also, if you look closely at the protestors, I can guarantee that many aren’t even Berkeley students, but random people who popped out of nowhere just to protest for the fun of it.

  • Guest

    Time to break out the tear gas and dust off those truncheons, BPD.

    There are some hippie skulls that need to be cracked.

  • Cooper

    Glad to see students paying attention to what is going on.

  • joe

    Those comments by the GSI union make it clear why there are no science and engineering students in the leadership of the union. The union leadership is too busy pretending to be revolutionaries while scientists and engineers are working hard to create the knowledge and progress that allows the social scientists and humanists to exist.

    • Anonymous

      I hope there is sarcasm in this comment

    • Guest

      Why turn this into a science versus humanities debate? That approach is hackneyed, irrelevant, and unnecessary.

      The UCs were founded under a master plan that would provide any high school graduate in California an education if they wanted one. Progress and knowledge isn’t fueled by science alone. It’s founded on the combination of the natural sciences and social sciences. UC Berkeley students should be aware of that since they made the decision to attend a LIBERAL ARTS school.

      The UC is a public institution, and its responsibility is to educate this generation and continuing generations afterwards. Clearly, what happens to our education now is going to affect the country in the future. It’s not a question about “riding on other people’s coattails.” If you chose to attend UC Berkeley not knowing that its purpose was to educate the public and are whining about it now, you should have gone to a private college and “fought” for financial aid. How’s that for “working for what you have?”

      • Guest

        Amendment: My statement that UC Berkeley is a liberal arts school is incorrect; however, this doesn’t change the fact that the combination of science and humanities is more potent than one alone.

  • joe

    Lawlessness is a great way to gain the support of residents and politicians… NOT. The selfish choices of the few (Occupiers) should not impede the rights of the 99%(students, faculty, staff) to learn, research, and work. You want lower tuition? Well, your parents should have voted for more taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t they occupy People’s Park?  It has a nice outdoorsy feel, plenty of natural bathroom facilities, and provides easy access to recreational pharmaceuticals. 

    • Already taken. We are gonna move to your house next, once we find out where you live.

      • BearFacts

        Please feel free, I am not hard to find. Throughout the country these encampments have created problems for whatever city they are located in. Ideologically, they serve as a haven for the downtrodden to feel as if they are doing something productive; when in reality, they are little more than unproductive encampments. 

        Occupy everything, protest as long as you want, all the while the 1% will continue to work, only furthering the income inequality in our country. The United States isn’t a socialist utopia, this isn’t the home of the free ride, it is the home of the brave. The brave who took a chance others called crazy, the brave who worked while others slept, the brave who uphold our country today. 

  • RealEyes Realize ReaLies

    Also not allowed on this campus: representation by an attorney during a student conduct hearing. Too bad for UC, that policy is an indefensible violation of CA state law. Guys like Birgeneau and Le Grande pay no heed to the law whenever they find it inconvenient to achieving their ends.

    “Roy: Kicking a student out of her house is an educational sanction?

    Jonathan Poullard: It depends on the behavior of the student.

    Audience: [many voices]

    Jonathan Poullard: I think that there
    are times when given the behavior in that situation, it is incumbent
    upon the institution to act. Absolutely I do. Is that a normal action,
    absolutely not, it is very, very rare.

    Nathan Shaffer: I think that this underscores
    two points. The first point is that the sanctions students can face
    under this code do rise to sanctions that people face in general
    criminal processes, which makes it all the more important that due
    process be applied. And that the code is actually recognized for what
    it is: a punitive process that has really no educational value. And the

  • Guest

    any students attempting to set up an “encampment” should be expelled.  give their spots to someone who is interested in taking full advantage of the opportunities a UC education provides.

    • Occupycalsupport

      We are interested in taking advantage of UC’s opportunities, but we also look beyond our own interests to ensure that public education remains an opportunity for those among us unable to afford private school tuition. 

      • Anonymous

        Then start voting for people that know Joe to create growth, income and jobs instead of the SACTO Libs who have turned Cali into a third world state..

        • Another clown that believes that change comes from marking a piece of paper every two to four years. 
          Fatten your ass cupcake, the votes that matter are in the street!

    • 99%

      This act of civil disobedience is not individually based nor selfish. It is done with the belief that higher public education is a right, not a privilege. In present day, when Berkeley students are wealthier on average than Stanford students (a private institution),

      we, the people,

      must make a statement. And if you disagree, well…good luck paying for your children’s education :)

      • Anonymous

        You have a right to compete to gain admission. After that, you are on your own. Assume personal responsibility for your life.

        • We’ll do after we see some some banker’s heads rolling down the guillotine.

      • Anonymous

        The reason Cal students are wealthier than Stanford students is that Cal was forced to accept many barely-qualified low income minority students to keep the Democrat demagogues happy.  Since they all needed financial aid while California cut aid by $700 million, U.C. decided to accept an unprecedented number of out-of-state students who are wealthy enough to pay $52,000 a year in tuition without access to Cal Grants.  When U.C. raised tuition, average-income Cal students were also forced to pay not only their own tuition increases but also the tuition of low income students so they could not afford to attend Cal, which means the remaining students probably are wealthier than the average Stanford student.

    • Obgyn Troll

      hahahahahahaha, OBVIOUS TROLL