Occupy Cal protests sees melee between police and protesters

Police attempt to break through a line of students on Nov. 9 during the Occupy Cal protests.
Tony Zhou/Staff
Police attempt to break through a line of students on Nov. 9 during the Occupy Cal protests.

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.

In reply, protesters chanted, “We’re just standing,” “The whole word is watching” and “What law are we breaking?”

Approximately 50 officers from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and UCPD arrived when protesters did not disperse. Although police — dressed in riot helmets and carrying batons and zip tie handcuffs — used their batons to attempt to break through the protesters’ line, the protesters resisted.

“Cops pushed forward, continuously jabbing me in the leg and stomach with the baton,” said Erick Uribe, a 22 year-old UC Berkeley senior, as he lifted up his shirt to show a bruise on his side. “I did see people being grabbed and pulled across the line,” Uribe added.

Amidst chants of “You are the 99 percent” and “What’s your badge,” the police left the lawn at around 4 p.m.

Another general assembly meeting was held at around 5 p.m., this time around the encampment of tents with ASUC President Vishalli Loomba and ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman in attendance.

Freeman, CalSERVE Senator Andrew Albright and Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, among others, met with Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande and UCPD Chief Mitch Celaya to discuss concerns about encampment, according to Freeman.

Le Grande and other administrators will come to the Sproul steps to speak with protesters around 5:40 p.m., according to UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

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  • Ott

    It was the Alameda County Sheriffs who actually shot and killed a bystander back in 1969 during a protest over the Vietnam War. They were called the Blue Meanies due to their uniform color

  • da

    UCB’s adminstrators have disgraced themselves. They better come today with an apology.

  • “Melee” is downright offensive. Beating. It was a fucking beating.

  • Serk1

  • Is the title to just deceive people or do you really believe that?  There was no melee it was an assault on unarmed civilians. Speak the truth not half-truths. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=buovLQ9qyWQ   

  • Yue Shark Yu

    The title is misleading. There was no “melee”. It was a one-sided beat down.

  • Kooo1988

    Berkeley police beating Cal students before retreating.

    • Berkeley Local

      This is why people call cops pigs. Beating women make you feel like a man?

  • Mrkurtbridges

    bulldoze the school

    • Mrkurtbridges

      protect and serve the rich

  • The Fisherman

    Might want to change that typo in the first quote to: “…the whole world is watching…” These are UCB students we’re talking about for crying out loud.

    • Jhmartin

      I’m watching in Boston

  • UC faculty

    Police attacked non-violent protesters exercising the right of assembly, and tried to cause bodily harm via baton jabs and overhead baton swings.  There was no encampment given that the sun had not set and nobody was residing within the structures.  UC administration tries to quell dissent, and above all fears bad publicity.

    • Guest

      Structures = encampment.
      Even the protesters referred to the tents as an encampment.

      Try again.

      • “the sun had not set and nobody was residing within the structures”Try reading again…

      • Guest

        Watch the videos and tell me if what the police were doing to the students and teachers is lawful. I’m sure you would like to be jabbed with sticks and thrown to the ground by your hair while just standing there.

  • Guest

    Get rid of the outlaws and the helicopters so that I can get back to work.

  • Guest

    Clear that camp, by any means necessary !!

    • Redeemedwretch

      Ya man, gun those fuckers down. I say it’s the makings of a damn revolution. Oh, wait, the forefathers of those citizens founded this country out of a revolution because they believed a government was oppressing them. Huh, then they set the very first amendment in the constitution to restrict the government from ever being able to pass a law that interfered with the people’s right to assemble and petition their government. Since marching on capitol hill ain’t really gotten anyone anywhere, the freedom fighters are peacefully occupying their public squares in an attempt to build community and organization and bring awareness back to the people. Now I have read a whole lot of the founding fathers, and I gather they would rather have a dissenting patriot join them in the afterlife then a man who defended an unrighteous government by standing quietly or heckling those patriots he had not taken the time to understand. Maybe we shouldn’t use any means necessary on veteran’s that fought for our freedom, maybe we should thank them for continuing to fight for our freedom.