This page will aggregate The Daily Californian’s coverage of the Occupy Cal protests at UC Berkeley.
Two years after student protests swept through California, the Occupy movement has come full circle. Campus protesters have held two Days of Action — on Nov. 9 and Nov. 15 — and set up encampments outside of Sproul Hall, speaking out against tuition increases and state cuts to higher education.
By Amruta Trivedi | 1/21/12
The occupation of UC Berkeley’s anthropology library ended Saturday evening when campus administrators agreed to meet the demands of protesters and restore the library’s hours, marking the second time the campus has restored the library’s hours in response to a student occupation.
The demonstration began as a “study-in” Thursday evening in protest of cuts made to the library’s operating hours for the spring semester after a longtime library staffer resigned unexpectedly.
About 30 protesters were in the library Saturday evening when news came that Tom Leonard, UC Berkeley’s university librarian, signed the agreement to restore the anthropology library’s hours to its fall 2011 schedule. On a temporary basis, students will be hired to help staff the library.
By Geena Cova | 1/20/12
In an extension of a “study-in” demonstration that began Thursday, protesters in UC Berkeley’s anthropology library voted Friday to continue their occupation of the space despite warnings from campus administration that individuals could not be present in the library after hours without faculty supervision.
The demonstrators — who are protesting against the library’s reduced hours — held a general assembly meeting at 5 p.m. that lasted several hours. UC Berkeley senior Alex Kim said the meeting was not directly related to Occupy Cal, though some protesters disagreed with that sentiment.
By Amruta Trivedi | 1/10/12
Update, Friday 12:25 p.m. — About a dozen demonstrators remained in the UC Berkeley anthropology library Friday morning after holding an overnight study-in as part of a day of protests Thursday to coincide with the UC Board of Regents meeting and oppose cuts to library hours.
The study-in — which involved about 70 protesters as of press time Thursday and decreased in numbers as the night wore on — garnered support from a number of faculty members from the campus anthropology department who signed up for rotations to stay with the protesters until 6 p.m. Friday., according to UC Berkeley senior Alex Kim.
By Alisha Azevedo | 1/10/12
Occupy Cal is back.
On Tuesday evening, demonstrators held a general assembly meeting on the steps of Sproul Hall to discuss how to rally support for the movement, which garnered national attention during the fall semester.
About 20 participants attended the meeting, which lasted almost two hours and revolved around planning Occupy Cal and Open University actions during the first week of spring semester classes and deciding how to publicize the movement to increase its momentum.
UC Berkeley sophomore Elana Eden said a general assembly meeting held Monday also involved some preliminary planning for the movement heading into the new semester.
The Tuesday meeting attendees discussed facilitating a general assembly meeting Jan. 17 to reintroduce the movement and seek support for a Jan. 19 rally, which could occur in solidarity with protests at UC Riverside during the UC Board of Regents meeting. Suggestions for how to name the rally ranged from “We’re still here” to titles focusing on the spring season, such as “Spring into action.”
Campus administrative assistant and alumnus Juan Garcia said the first week of classes “is the best time to grab people” and increase involvement by strengthening the group’s committees, which serve functions such as providing food and artwork to support protesters.
By Courtney Moulds | 12/15/11
For the past couple weeks, a slide show projection on the Anna Head West student housing project currently under construction has drawn attention with its “Occupy the Wall (across the) Street” message.
UC Berkeley Labor Center staff members first projected a slide show containing charts, data, quotes and more information about income inequality in America onto the complex from the third story window of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employmentbuilding on the evening of Dec. 8.As of now, the center staff members plan to project the slide show each Thursday night, according to Rebecca Graham, communications specialist at the center.
“I think this was just a fun way for us to present … the data that support this ever-widening income and inequality and wealth gap that we have in the U.S.,” said Sylvia Allegretto, a research economist at the institute who helped contribute to the presentation.
By Franklin Krbechek | 12/12/11
About 15 protesters from Occupy Cal joined Occupy Oakland to march to shut down the Port of Oakland Monday night.
The Occupy Cal group met at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus at 2 p.m. before departing to Oakland.
Once there, the protesters joined the larger Occupy rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza until joining in the 4 p.m. march to the port that lasted nearly two hours.The Occupy Cal group split up before meeting at the plaza, with several members taking BART and others riding bicycles or the bus.
By Anjuli Sastry | 12/12/11
A group of UC Berkeley students, faculty and Occupy Cal protesters called for Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s resignation during a rally in Oakland Monday morning before scheduled court proceedings for some of the movement’s protesters.
The proceedings — which took place at Oakland’s Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse — for the 39 protesters arrested during the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal campus demonstrations were preceded by the rally and a press conference led by the defendants’ attorneys from BAMN, a national minority rights and pro-affirmative action group.
Following the press conference, the plaintiffs turned in approximately 1,000 petition signatures — including signatures from Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and other local figures — that demanded the court not pursue the pending criminal charges.
By J.D. Morris | 12/11/11
Alex Kim, a UC Berkeley senior and Occupy Cal protester who took a vow of silence, was detained Sunday by UCPD officers on Sproul Plaza, according to eyewitnesses at the scene.
At around 4:38 p.m., a few officers approached a group of demonstrators sitting on the lawn in front of Sproul Hall and handcuffed Kim before taking him away, said junior Katie Rapp.
“I was so surprised,” Rapp said. “They just grabbed him.”
By Chloe Hunt | 12/11/11
About 10 Occupy Cal demonstrators watched as clean-up crews tore down the teepee on the lawn in front of Sproul Hall and power washed the chalk off the hall’s steps early Sunday morning.
For some participants, this signaled the end of Occupy Cal for the semester, while others planned on returning later Sunday once the cleaning ended.
“It needs to be cleaned, but we’ll be back,” said Lauren Henry, a Berkeley resident who was sleeping in the teepee when the clean-up crew started to tear it down.
By Amruta Trivedi | 12/10/11
About 70 people representing teachers’ and workers’ unions and Occupy movements from around northern California gathered into a cramped conference room in Berkeley Saturday afternoon to discuss ways of combining individual Occupy movements into one larger movement next year.
The meeting took place at the offices of United Auto Workers Local 2865 — a union that represents thousands of graduate student instructors, readers and tutors — where those present voted to hold a statewide day of action on March 1 and a rally in Sacramento March 5.
By Mihir Zaveri | 12/9/11
While many of the Occupy protests have focused on fighting the negative effects of socioeconomic inequality, to define the Occupy movement in a sentence, or an article, would be contradictory to its purpose.
What the movement has been is a movement of real images, images that captured raw emotion of fear, anger and hope. The images swiftly spread, showing not only the world, but also ourselves, that not everything is alright with American society.
A woman in Portland, Oregon screaming as pepper spray blasted her in the face. An Iraq War veteran hurriedly being carried away from a line of riot police in Oakland, Calif., his head streaming blood. On Nov. 9, students at UC Berkeley, arms linked, pushing and yelling as police swiftly and repeatedly thrust batons into their ribs and abdomens.
By Curan Mehra | 12/9/11
A handful of protesters celebrated the one month anniversary of the Occupy Cal demonstrations Friday afternoon with a “birthday party” outside UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s on-campus residence.
After departing from Sproul Plaza at around 3:20 p.m., about 15 demonstrators made their way to a patch of dirt across the street from the chancellor’s home, where they established a makeshift encampment adorned with streamers, balloons and Occupy art brought over from Sproul.
By Sara Grossman | 12/5/11
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will speak at the ASUC Senate’s final meeting of the semester Wednesday night but will not discuss the contentious events of Nov. 9 due to the lawsuit recently filed against the campus.
BAMN, a national pro-affirmative action organization, filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of various campus and community members in response to the Nov. 9 police action against Occupy Cal protesters, during which police used batons against the protesters.
By Chloe Hunt | 12/2/11
Occupy Cal demonstrators set up three tents on Upper Sproul Plaza Friday evening in an impromptu act to gather public attention as over 1,000 people lined up to hear American intellectual Cornel West speak in Pauley Ballroom.
Although the action of setting up the tents was not formally approved by the occupation’s general assembly, assembly members present did not object to it, according to Christopher Luk, an Oakland resident who set up a tent.
West spoke with Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA , in a campus event titled “In the Age of Obama … Police Terror, Incarceration, No Jobs, Mis-education: What Future for our Youth?”
“We got a line, we got an audience,” Luk said.
By Aaida Samad | 12/01/11
More than 75 demonstrators packed into Barrows Hall Thursday evening for the annual UCPD Police Review Board meeting, where the issue of the Nov. 9 police use of force against protesters dominated discussion, despite previous notice that the meeting would not cover that issue.
Before the meeting, the demonstrators lined the hallway outside the meeting room, standing silently and holding an assortment of signs with messages including “Disband the UCPD before they kill again” and “Police are detrimental to our safety.” Members of the board filed past protesters into the room as sounds from YouTube videos of the Nov. 9 police violence played.
By Jasmine Mausner | 11/30/11
Despite the controversy surrounding the use of police force at the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest, the chair of the Police Review Board said not to expect any discussion of the demonstration during the board’s public meeting Thursday.
The aim of the annual meeting — set to take place in 60 Barrows Hall at 6 p.m. — is to review complaints regarding UCPD over the last fiscal year, which ended in June. However, only one complaint was submitted over the past year and did not require review by the board, according to the board’s draft annual report.
UC Berkeley School of Law professor Jesse Choper, former dean of the school and current chair of the 10-member board, said that while there is currently no set agenda, he thinks it would be inappropriate to discuss the Occupy Cal movement at the meeting because it is still under investigation.
By Chloe Hunt | 11/30/11
As Occupy Cal finishes its third week and the end of the fall semester approaches, public participation is waning.
The general assembly still meets regularly to discuss upcoming action days and proposals, but participation has been low in the last week, according to Berkeley resident Nick Porter, who was one of the few spending the night on Sproul Plaza Tuesday evening.
By Curan Mehra | 11/29/11
State Senator Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, spoke separately to UC Berkeley students and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau Tuesday in an attempt to garner support for efforts to address the financial issues facing the state and the University of California.
Though de Leon had originally called for Birgeneau to meet him in public on Sproul Plaza to have a debate about the future of higher education, Birgeneau decided instead to meet him in private. Prior to that meeting, de Leon sat on the steps of Sproul Hall and spoke as part of the Open University about California’s fiscal situation.
By Jamie Applegate | 11/28/11
After becoming aware of a campuswide email written by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau calling upon political leaders in Sacramento to engage in a public forum with the chancellor and student representatives, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, has requested a public meeting with Birgeneau on Sproul Plaza Tuesday.
In response to Birgeneau’s Nov. 15 email, the senator, a co-author of the California DREAM Act, wrote a letter Monday requesting that the chancellor meet him on Sproul at 12:30 p.m. and bring “five ideas to restore our higher education system to its full glory.”
He added in the letter addressed to Birgeneau that “this state needs you and your colleagues to stop whining about our problems and start helping solve them.”
By Damian Ortellado | 11/28/2011
Spurred by graphic images from recent police uses of force at UC campuses, Gov. Jerry Brown has requested that state police officers review their policies for using force and make changes to their guidelines accordingly.
In a Monday letter to the state Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training, Brown wrote that he was “seriously concerned that the rules governing use of force … are not well understood in the context of civil disobedience and various forms of public protest,” citing police use of pepper spray and other forms of force at recent “occupation” protests at UC campuses.
By Alisha Azevedo | 11/26/2011
Monday’s special meeting of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate stemming from the police use of force at the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal demonstration will include four proposals, one of which has been amended to exclude an expression of “no confidence” in senior administrators.
In a letter to members of the senate Saturday, the authors of the original proposal, which was the basis for calling the senate’s special meeting, stated that the resolution has been “misconstrued in two important ways” and that it does not aim to solicit the resignations of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande.
By Javier Panzar | 11/24/11
While most UC Berkeley students chose to head home for the Thanksgiving break, senior Alex Kim decided to do something decidedly different early Thursday morning.
Kim cancelled his plane ticket home and instead lugged camping equipment and his pet cat Obi to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s front lawn around 5 a.m. There he pitched a tent in solidarity with the Occupy Cal movement that has shaken the campus over the last three weeks.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/22/11
Next Monday’s special meeting of the Berkeley Division of the Academic will hear two alternative proposals stemming from the police use of force at the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal demonstration, in addition to the original proposal calling for a vote of no confidence in senior administrators and their handling of the recent protests.
By Adelyn Baxter | 11/22/11
UC President Mark Yudof announced Tuesday that he will launch a systemwide investigation into policing protocol on all 10 UC campuses in an effort to identify and amend policy in respect to protests.
Yudof said he intends to provide a comprehensive report of what happened Nov. 18 at UC Davis, when campus police pepper-sprayed protesters as they sat with arms linked on the campus quad.
Yudof has requested that William Bratton — former police chief in both Los Angeles and New York City and current chair of Kroll Consulting Company — “undertake an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days,” according to an announcement posted on Facebook Tuesday.
By Jason Willick | 11/22/11
Poised to file a federal lawsuit against UC Berkeley for alleged police brutality, Occupy Cal protesters met in Wheeler Hall Monday night to recount, in vivid detail, their experiences of the police violence at the Nov. 9 protest.
About 50 people attended the 2.5-hour meeting, which was organized by BAMN, a national minority rights and pro-affirmative action group. Yvette Felarca, a national organizer for BAMN, and Monica Smith, a BAMN attorney, led the meeting. Smith said the group intends to formally file its lawsuit in federal court this week.
The meeting was dominated by protesters’ accounts of the brutality they said they suffered at the hands of the police.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo and Curan Mehra | 11/22/11
The state legislature will hold hearings next month on the police use of force during protests on University of California campuses over the past two weeks.
The hearings, requested by state Assemblymember and Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee Marty Block, D-San Diego, were approved by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, Tuesday, according to a press release from Perez’s office.
The public hearings will be held jointly by the Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee on Dec. 14, according to a release from Block’s office.
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/22/11
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released an audio message Tuesday regarding the campus response to events of the past few weeks.
He said he takes full responsibility for the events of Nov. 9 — which elicited widespread condemnation from faculty and students after police used batons to clear through throngs of protesters — and “will do (his) very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”
By Jonathan Tam | 11/22/11
In contrast to last week when police raided the Occupy Cal encampment on Sproul Plaza, a sleep-out Monday night marked a relatively tranquil night for the approximately 50 protesters who occupied the plaza in sleeping bags.
The sleep-out began at 9 p.m. with more than 200 demonstrators but eventually dwindled to about 50 people. Before settling down to sleep, the demonstrators listened to poetry readings and musical performances and watched a documentary.
Although there were at least four tents pitched on the plaza, there were only about two UCPD officers on the scene throughout the night.
By Kanwalroop Singh | 11/22/11
Deep in the center of Sproul Plaza, lies an eight-pointed star. It consists of a conglomeration of odds and ends:crushed cans of coconut juice, Red Bull and Dr. Pepper, orange peels, wooden shavings, flowers, twine balls and pumpkins; a blue can stuck to a computer chip, a rusted pill box and a Tibetan goddess miniature; two concentric circles made of branches; and a small peeping Yoda statue. It is a curiosity for passerby, an oasis of natural beauty on a cement desert.
As Cody, one of the contributors says, the art is proof that, “Trash can be beautiful, if it is used in the right way.” Using waste to create wonder, this is recycling at its finest.
By Christopher Yee | 11/21/11
As police filed onto a tent-covered Sproul Plaza early Thursday morning, an announcement over the loudspeaker told the Occupy Cal protesters they had five minutes to gather their belongings and leave.
Under the threat of arrest, all but two people gathered blankets and backpacks and headed toward Bancroft Way. Officers arrested the remaining two but did not take them away in the Alameda County Sheriff’s bus that had crept through Sather Gate almost unnoticed around 3:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, just across the way, in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building, Benjamin Chao kept pedaling.
By Chloe Hunt | 11/20/11
Nineteen members of the Occupy Cal movement attended the general assembly Sunday night to finalize details for a campuswide sleep-out and plans for a solidarity movement with UC Davis.
The sleep-out — planned for Monday night on Sproul Plaza — is intended to continue the momentum of the Occupy movement and show solidarity with UC Davis students who have planned a rally on their campus Monday, according to a Facebook event.
Discussion was raised during the meeting about the possibility of police action during the sleep-out.
“(Police are) always a worry when we plan anything these days,” said Navid Shaghaghi, a senior at UC Berkeley.
By Amruta Trivedi | 11/19/11
Two representatives from the Occupy Cal general assembly, along with campus Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, met with a senior campus administrator Friday afternoon to discuss the demands and decisions of the movement.
Initiated by Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri through Navab, the meeting was met with criticism by members of the general assembly who felt that they should not be required to select representatives to speak on behalf of the movement because they said it is inherently leaderless.
“If the administration wants to speak to us, they should come to our general assembly,” said Navid Shaghaghi, a UC Berkeley senior.
By Javier Panzar | 11/18/11
Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of the 15th annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, delivered by Robert Reich, a UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor. The speech was extemporaneous and was delivered to a crowd of thousands outside Sporul Plaza on Nov. 15 .
Robert Reich: I’ll be short
Forty-seven years ago, as you know, we were graced with the eloquence and the power of Mario Savio’s words, from these steps. And they were words that echoed and ricocheted across America. Words about the importance and centrality of freedom of speech and assembly and freedom of expression and social justice. And those words continue to live on — in fact, the sentiments and words that Mario Savio expressed 47 years ago are as relevant if not more relevant today than they were then.
By Betsy Vincent | 11/17/11
Usually, the Big Game sparks cross-bay pranking and inflames the intense rivalry between the two premier West Coast universities.
But this year, students from UC Berkeley and Stanford are burying the axe in light of the Occupy Cal movement, which has overtaken Sproul Plaza and relegated traditional Big Game week customs to the back of students’ minds.
Student leaders from the two schools are working together to organize a Big Game Solidarity March and Rally before the annual football game Saturday night. Students from both schools will come together to support the Occupy Cal movement and to condemn the police’s use of force against student protesters, according to the event’s Facebook page.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/17/11
Demonstrators packed up tents and disbanded the Occupy Cal encampment early Thursday morning after police officers forced the encampment’s clearing, resulting in two arrests.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., around 50 police officers in riot gear arrived in Sproul Plaza and told demonstrators to begin packing up the tents which were on the Sproul Hall steps.
By Derek Remsburg | 11/16/11
“I’ve been doing this since the ’60s,” said Dr. Bookerfinger.
UC Berkeley graduate student Zachary Manfredi and UC Berkeley student Andrea Barrera are organizers of Occupy Cal.
By Franklin Krbechek | 11/16/11
Despite an announcement from Chancellor Robert Birgeneau last week that encampments would not be allowed on the UC Berkeley campus, protesters remained with tents on the steps of Sproul Hall Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Although police officers — who also remained in Sproul Plaza overnight and throughout the day — began announcing hourly at around 3 a.m. Wednesday that the encampment was illegal and that its continuation could lead to police action, no tents were removed, according to Shane Boyle, campus head steward of UAW Local 2865 and an organizer of Occupy Cal.
By Christopher Yee | 11/16/11
UC Berkeley sophomore Courtney Mullen sipped coffee as she pulled out her black notebook to study organic chemistry. She had just finished lunch and needed to prepare for class.
Mullen did not immediately see the irony of being at the Free Speech Movement Cafe while more than 1,000 protesters gathered on Sproul Plaza for the Open University Strike and Day of Action on Tuesday at noon.
By Sara Grossman | 11/16/11
SAN FRANCISCO — A group of protesters, including students from UC Berkeley, occupied a Bank of America branch in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon during an Occupy San Francisco march.
Of the 95 demonstrators cited for trespassing at the bank, around five were UC Berkeley students.
By Aaida Samad | 11/16/11
In an open letter released Wednesday, more than 70 faculty members at the UC Berkeley School of Law expressed their strong condemnation of actions taken against protesters last week by campus administrators and police, calling for a reestablishment of the campus’s reputation as a beacon of free speech.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo, Soumya Karlamangla and Leslie Toy | 11/15/11
The Nov. 15 day of action comes hot on the heels of the Occupy Cal protest Nov. 9, when police used force — actions for which both the campus administration and UCPD have pledged review — to deal with protesters. Tuesday’s protest — which will see rallies, a march and the Occupy Cal general assembly before UC Berkeley Professor of Public Policy and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s evening lecture — was intended to lead up to a large protest at the Wednesday UC Board of Regents meeting, but that meeting was canceled amid fears for public safety.
By Daily Cal Staff | 11/15/11
Tuesday marks another Day of Action at UC Berkeley for Occupy Cal. Campus protesters have planned teach-outs, a march through the city, a rally and a general assembly in Sproul Plaza.
This page will aggregate tweets and photos from the day. Look for Daily Cal reporters as well as protesters and the campus on this feed. Check back here for updates and photos.
Drawing thousands to Sproul Plaza on Tuesday, Occupy Cal’s general strike featured a day rally and march with a 5pm general assembly and a speech by Robert Reich. These videos start with the construction of the Occupy Cal encampment at the beginning of the day and show snapshots of events throughout the day.
By Alisha Azevedo | 11/15/11
Thousands of people flocked to Sproul Plaza Tuesday evening in anticipation of the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture by Robert Reich, a UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
Some settled onto couches set up earlier in the day on the grass by the Sproul steps, while others perched on the roof of the Golden Bear Cafe. An hour later, after listening to speeches and spoken word performances from three Mario Savio Young Activist Award winners, the lecture began. Protest organizers said the sound system would be cut off by 10 p.m.
“I’ll be short,” Reich said by way of introduction.
By Victoria Pardini & Aaida Samad | 11/15/11
A crowd about 3,500 packed into Upper Sproul Plaza Tuesday evening, convening a general assembly where they voted overwhelmingly to reestablish an encampment, despite the police violence that marked encampment efforts last week.
The demonstrators gathered on Sproul for the Occupy Cal general assembly, which followed the Open University strike activities and march earlier in the day. The assembled individuals voted on three proposals, the first of which was whether to organize a debate on public education with a variety of public officials, including members of the campus administration, the UC Board of Regents and Gov. Jerry Brown.
By Sara Khan | 11/15/11
Read the proposed letter that will be adopted by Occupy Cal at the Nov. 15 General Assembly, addressed to the state government, UC Regents, CSU trustees and all education administrators.
By Chloe Hunt | 11/15/11
Enthusiasm ran high for Occupy Cal as more than 700 UC Berkeley students, faculty and supporters marched off-campus to gain more support during Tuesday’s Open University strike and Day of Action.
The march stopped at both Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College as protesters made their way through city streets before returning to campus for the 5 p.m. general assembly meeting.
By Mihir Zaveri | 11/15/11
Late Tuesday afternoon, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau sent out a campuswide message calling on state leaders to debate about California’s “disinvestment in public higher education.”
By Alisha Azevedo | 11/15/11
UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza became packed with more than a thousand protesters Tuesday around 1 p.m., as the crowd attending the campus strike and Day of Action in solidarity with the Occupy movement continued to swell.
The crowd steadily grew in size as students from the UC Berkeley School of Law marched onto the Sproul steps and students walking from class joined the protesters. Rather than having a series of speeches on the Sproul steps as is customary at noon rallies on the plaza, the protesters listened to a few short messages from protest organizers before beginning to listen to a student choir and attending various teach-outs.
By Curan Mehra | 11/15/11
Protesters began Tuesday’s strike and Day of Action setting up a home for themselves on the steps of Sproul Plaza.
The psuedo-living room included couches, ornamental rugs and even a bookshelf filled with titles like The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills and The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom.
By Curan Mehra and Jessica Rossoni | 11/14/11
The UC Board of Regents announced Monday morning its decision to reschedule and possibly relocate the upcoming Board of Regents meeting.
In a press release, the UC Office of the President stated that the decision to postpone the meeting — originally scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday — was made after the regents received intelligence from police that a threat to student and public safety was imminent.
By Franklin Krbechek and Christopher Yee | 11/14/11
In response to recurrent funding cuts to higher education and impassioned by police actions last week, Occupy Cal protesters will vote on whether to set up an encampment again.
A general strike and a Day of Action are set to take place Tuesday on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley, beginning at 8 a.m. and to be followed by various activities including public readings, teach-outs and mass gatherings.
By Sarah Burns | 11/14/11
Members of the UC Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology have initiated a petition condemning the actions of the campus administration following last week’s Occupy Cal protests.
When this post was written, the petition had been signed by over 300 members of the campus community.
By Courtney Moulds | 11/14/11
Upon his return from East Asia Sunday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced Monday that he has appointed UC Berkeley School of Law professor Jesse Choper, former dean of the school and current chair of the Police Review Board to review the actions of the police during last week’s Occupy Cal protests.
Calling videos of the demonstrations “disturbing,” Birgeneau stated that all students arrested during the protest for blocking police officers will be granted amnesty and will not face charges under the student code of conduct.
By Jessica Rossoni | 11/14/11
The UC Board of Regents will reschedule this week’s meeting due to concerns of violence, according to an announcement from the UC Office of the President Monday morning.
Following a statewide strike and day of action scheduled for Tuesday, protesters planned to demonstrate against continued state divestment from higher education, as well as other issues. The meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, with time allotted to discuss issues such as the UC Retirement Plan and the board’s budget request from the state for the next fiscal year.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/14/11
The announcement, made by board Chair Sherry Lansing, board Vice Chair Bruce Varner and UC President Mark Yudof, was made Monday because UC law enforcement officials presented the board with “information indicating that rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting.”
The meeting will be rescheduled “for another time and, possibly, an alternate venue,” according to the release.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/14/11
The UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly has condemned the police use of violence against Occupy Cal protesters Wednesday, according to a statement from the assembly’s Executive Board.
In the statement, the board characterized police actions as “unjustified and excessive” and urged the campus to allow an independent, external body to review the day’s events.
By Christopher Yee | 11/14/11
At least five of the protesters who attended Wednesday’s Occupy Cal demonstration have agreed to file a civil suit against UC Berkeley and the UCPD.
Attorneys for BAMN, a national pro-affirmative action group, are filing the suit on behalf of protesters who either experienced violence or were arrested despite claims of remaining peaceful at the demonstration.
The group will hold a press conference on Monday at 2:30 p.m. on the steps of Sproul Hall to announce the lawsuit and call on Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to resign.
By Christopher Yee | 11/14/11
UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U. S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich will now hold his Mario Savio Memorial lecture in conjunction with Tuesday’s Open University Strike and Day of Action at 8 p.m.
Occupy Cal protesters reached out to Reich and the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture and Young Activist Award Board of Directors last week to request that the lecture — titled “Class Warfare in America” — be moved from the Pauley Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building out to the steps of Sproul Hall, and both parties agreed.
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/13/11
Looking to support Occupy Cal and its “fight against police brutality,” Occupy Oakland is planning to march to UC Berkeley to join the campus general strike Tuesday.
“We must recognize that the very same OPD officers and Sheriffs who attacked us here were sent only a few days later to brutalize people at Berkeley,” according to the Facebook event. “And, once they are finished at Berkeley, they will return to attack us again.”
By Jamie Applegate | 11/13/11
Read statements issued or comments made by various officials and community members regarding the police response to Occupy Cal on Nov. 9.
By Afsana Afzal | 11/13/11
After a student was cited by UCPD Wednesday afternoon for carrying large banners in front of Boalt Hall during Occupy Cal demonstrations, an email was sent out advising UC Berkeley School of Law students to avoid the West entrance of the building due to heavy police presence and confrontational incidents.
UCPD officers informed the law school’s officials that they were under direct orders to stop anyone carrying large signs and banners and to ask for immediate identification, according to the email from Kathleen Vanden Heuvel, associate dean of capital projects and adjunct professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/13/11
A group of UC Berkeley students has launched a petition demanding the resignation of four top UC Berkeley officials, including Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, for what it calls “their betrayal of the people’s trust” during the Nov. 9 Day of Action and Occupy Cal demonstrations.
The petition, which has 54 signatures as of the time this post was written, calls on Birgeneau, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Harry Le Grande, UCPD Chief Mitch Celaya and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer to step down immediately, condemning “the gross violations of Constitutional protections and basic principles of human decency that they sanctioned on Wednesday.”
By Stephanie Baer | 11/12/11
Read an open letter released Saturday by Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, whose district encompasses the UC Berkeley campus.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/12/11
Three UC Berkeley faculty members have written an open letter to the campus administration — which already has over 500 signatures — condemning the police’s use of violence at Wednesday’s protest.
Julia Bryan-Wilson and Gregory Levine — both associate professors of history of art — and Peter Glazer, associate professor of theater, dance, and performance studies, penned the letter at the behest of a faculty caucus of approximately 45 teachers which met Thursday morning, according to an email from Bryan-Wilson. The letter, addressed to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, campus administrators and the UC Board of Regents, had garnered 517 signatures by 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
By Sarah Burns | 11/12/11
For UC Berkeley graduate student Alex Barnard, the most disempowering moment of Wednesday night was not when he was repeatedly hit with a police baton, cracking one of his ribs. Instead, the most disturbing moment of his experience came afterward, when he says an officer told him he had “no rights.”
According to Barnard, who was arrested along 31 others as part of Wednesday night’s Occupy Cal demonstration, after he was handcuffed with a zip tie and taken into Sproul Hall, a police officer asked him for identifying information. Rather than immediately answering, Barnard said he asked the officer about his rights and when he would be allowed to speak to a lawyer. It was then that the officer told him he had no rights and, after Barnard disputed the statement, said he would be recorded as “uncooperative” on his police forms, according to Barnard.
By Amruta Trivedi | 11/11/11
Occupy Cal protesters continued organizing their movement Friday, voting at a general assembly to not establish an encampment on Sproul Plaza until the evening of Nov. 15.
Dubbed “Open University” by a consensus vote of the general assembly, Tuesday’s protest will also mark a statewide strike in which protesters and community members from other northern California campuses will be invited to convene at UC Berkeley in support of reforming the state’s higher-education system.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/11/11
Late night comedian Stephen Colbert treated UC Berkeley administrators and UCPD officers — or, as Colbert called them, “skilled crisis negotiators” — to a satiric skewering Thursday night, commending their efforts to keep order on the “hippie haven” campus.
The straight-talking, pro-establishment Colbert applauded their actions Wednesday night, complimenting the police force’s violent tactics — captured on video by numerous demonstrators and journalists — as an appropriate reaction to the student protest, even lauding UC Berkeley’s commendable commitment to diversity for “spearing a small Asian girl in the spleen first.”
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/10/11
The UC Student Association issued a statement Thursday night in support of UC Berkeley students after the Wednesday Occupy Cal protest, which at times turned violent and saw 39 protesters arrested. Read the full text of the association’s statement.
By Christopher Yee | 11/10/11
In their last unified act of the night, the Occupy Cal protesters ascended the steps of Sproul Hall at 4 a.m. Thursday morning when police completely retreated to the grass north of the steps.
However, they did not rush the steps to keep law enforcement from retaking the space. They wanted to clear the trash from the steps that had been left there before the police blocked it off.
By Jaehak Yu | 11/10/11
After the tumult of Wednesday’s demonstrations, Occupy Cal protesters and the UC Berkeley administration, though willing to negotiate with one another, are in a stalemate over campus policy.
Shane Boyle, campus head steward of UAW Local 2865 and an organizer, said he and other demonstrators remained open to negotiation with UC Berkeley administration — except on the issue of setting up encampments on campus.
By Jason Willick | 11/10/11
After discussing issues from police brutality and racism to procedures for making proposals at future meetings, Occupy Cal protesters voted Thursday evening not to camp with tents in Sproul Plaza that night.
Eighty-six protesters voted against setting up tents, 20 voted for the proposal and 21 abstained.
By Sarah Burns | 11/10/11
Since the beginning of the Occupy Cal Day of Action Wednesday, police have arrested 40 protesters — the most recent of whom was arrested Thursday morning after trying to hold onto the group’s last tent which was confiscated by police.
According to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao, a male not affiliated with the university was arrested at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of disrupting and delaying a peace officer and was issued an exclusion order that requires him to stay away from the campus for seven days.
By Paras Shah | 11/10/11
The ASUC Senate passed a unanimous motion Wednesday night admonishing the actions taken by police during the Nov. 9 Day of Action protests.
According to the statement, the ASUC is “appalled by the excessive use of police force against peacefully assembled students tonight, November 9th, 2011, on Upper Sproul steps.”
By Soumya Karlamangla & Sarah Burns | 11/10/11
A tweet from American commentator and writer Keith Olbermann’s Twitter account this afternoon, @KeithOlbermann reads:
“#ShowPlug1: Police Attack at #OccupyCal, 39 arrested; organizer Marco Amaral @caloccupation joins us. Is raid on Oakland next?”
Amaral, a UC Berkeley junior and an organizer of Wednesday’s Day of Action and Occupy Cal demonstrations, confirmed with The Daily Californian that he will be interviewed by Olbermann tonight.
By Sara Khan | 11/10/11
Read the text of the CALmessage sent by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and other administrators to the UC Berkeley community regarding Wednesday’s events and Occupy Cal.
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/10/11
Read the text of an email that went out to members of the Berkeley Faculty Association, SAVE — a campus faculty group “dedicated to preserving student access and academic quality at the UC,” according to its website — as well as other UC Berkeley faculty members.
By Stephanie Baer | 11/10/11
Around 100 Occupy Cal protesters met on the steps of Sproul Hall Thursday morning to debrief Wednesday’s Day of Action and make plans to spread the word about next Tuesday’s strike.
At around 10:45 a.m., speakers came together for a “mic check” to share their experiences from throughout the day on Wednesday, with many speaking out against UCPD’s actions toward student protesters.
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/10/11
Berkeley Police Department Sgt. Mary Kusmiss sent out an email Thursday morning clarifying what the department’s involvement was in Wednesday’s Occupy Cal demonstrations:
By Soumya Karlamangla | 11/10/11
On Wednesday, a planned Day of Action merged with Occupy Cal, leading to a protest in which over 1,000 demonstrators filled Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus. Over the course of the day, police used batons to break threw throngs of people, more than 30 people were arrested and protesters decided to set up an encampment despite warning from campus administration that that would not be tolerated. Today, tens of protesters remain on the steps of Sproul and most await the general assembly planned for 6 p.m. this evening.
By Amruta Trivedi | 11/10/11
In a day marked by large crowds and violence between protesters and police, UC Berkeley students and community members established an Occupy Cal encampment on Sproul Plaza, despite it going directly against campus policy.
The encampment, approved in a nearly unanimous general assembly vote by the protest’s participants, was formed to show solidarity with the national Occupy movement but focused on the increased privatization of the UC system, according to Amanda Armstrong, a UC Berkeley head steward for UAW Local 2865 — a union representing graduate student instructors — and organizer of the event.
By Curan Mehra & Mihir Zaveri | 11/10/11
Large turnout at Wednesday’s Day of Action showed signs that UC Berkeley’s signature student protest movement, widely perceived to have been losing its muster in recent years, may have found strength in the nationwide Occupy movement.
After more than two years of protests that decreased in size, Wednesday’s demonstration saw the crowd on Upper Sproul Plaza swell to more than 1,000 individuals. Those involved attributed the national appeal of the Occupy movement as a sign that student protests may be able to carry Wednesday’s momentum into the future.
These videos follow the November 9 Day of Action starting with a series of teach-ins starting at 8am, a rally at noon and a march to Bank of America. Protestors set up a series of tents in front of Sproul Hall and later in the afternoon, riot police marched to the encampment and were met by a line of protestors. Violence erupted when the protestors refused to allow police to remove the tents.
By Damian Ortellado | 11/10/11
On Monday, the UC Berkeley administration sent an email to students stating that setting up any encampments on campus property would not be tolerated.
But when Occupy Cal protesters voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to pitch tents on the lawns outside of Sproul Hall despite the warning, clashes with police ensued — the exact result campus officials had said they hoped to avoid.
By Jordan Bach-Lombardo | 11/9/11
Wednesday marks another day of action at UC Berkeley. Among the plans are teach-outs beginning at 8 a.m. and a noon rally on Sproul Plaza. Also a possibility is the establishment of an encampment under the moniker “Occupy Cal” — but the campus administration has forcefully stated that such an encampment will not be tolerated and UCPD has said that it will take “appropriate actions” to enforce campus policy. Still, organizers have said they will go forward with the encampment, which will be finalized at a 1:30 p.m. general assembly.
By Javier Panzar & Soumya Karlamangla | 11/9/11
Wednesday marks another day of action at UC Berkeley. Two years after student protests swept through California, the Occupy movement has come full circle. Campus protesters plan on setting up an encampment, though the campus administration has said it will not be tolerated.
This page will aggregate tweets and photos from the day. Look for Daily Cal reporters as well as protesters and the campus on this feed. Check back here for updates and photos.
By Franklin Krbechek | 11/10/11
Along with the Nov. 9 Day of Action on the UC Berkeley campus, 10 other demonstrations took place Wednesday at college campuses throughout the state.
The statewide protests were intended to mark the beginning of a week of protests leading up to the meetings of the CSU Board of Trustees and UC Board of Regents Nov. 16.
By Sarah Burns | 11/9/11
Today’s protest has resulted in at least seven arrests, all of which are people affiliated with UC Berkeley and at least one of whom is a campus faculty member.
According to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao, one of the protesters was arrested near Kroeber Hall earlier this morning and six were arrested this afternoon on the west side of Sproul Hall.
By Sara Khan | 11/9/11
Read the text of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande’s address to the Occupy Cal general assembly.
By Annie Sciacca | 11/9/11
Chaos ensued after protesters agreed in a general assembly vote to establish an encampment outside of Sproul Hall, which led to police officers beating students and at least six arrests.
When students set up camping tents on the lawn outside Sproul Hall, they linked arms around the encampment in an attempt to protect it. UCPD announced three dispersal orders, claiming that the encampment was unlawful and that the protesters risked arrest if they did not follow the orders.
By Jamie Applegate | 11/9/11
After marching back from covering the Bank of America on Telegraph Avenue with caution tape, protesters held a general assembly that started at about 1:30 p.m.
Upon arriving on the steps in front of Sproul Hall, protesters voted to establish an encampment on the UC Berkeley campus.
By Alisha Azevedo & Geena Cova | 11/9/11
The campuswide day of action in support of affordable higher education and the Occupy movement has grown throughout the day to over a thousand students at its peak in the early afternoon, from teach-outs in the morning to a noontime rally that was attended by about 1,000 people.
The protest activities thus far have mirrored past protests with teach-outs and a rally on Sproul Plaza, but in addition to a focus on state budget cuts and the affordability of higher education, the protest has strongly identified with the national Occupy movement and included a march to Bank of America on Telegraph Avenue.
By Curan Mehra | 11/9/11
Read a copy of the UC Berkeley general assembly’s Occupy Cal draft proposal for their general values and the planned encampment.
By Curan Mehra | 11/8/11
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.
By Amy Wang | 11/7/11
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.
By Nicholas Luther | 11/2/11
The ASUC Senate passed a bill Wednesday night that supports the Occupy Cal movement, which includes a Nov. 9 walkout and noontime rally on Sproul Plaza, and finances buses to transport students to the upcoming UC Board of Regents meeting at UC San Francisco.
The bill, co-authored by Cooperative Movement Senator Elliot Goldstein and CalSERVE Senator Andrew Albright, provides support for the protest through newspaper advertisements and “standing in solidarity with students who choose to walk out on Nov. 9,” according to the bill.