Occupy Cal general assembly votes to set up encampment Tuesday

Due to rain, Occupy Cal held their general assembly meeting inside the ASUC Senate Chambers on Friday night. They discussed upcoming plans for the week.
Kelly Fang/Staff
Due to rain, Occupy Cal held their general assembly meeting inside the ASUC Senate Chambers on Friday night. They discussed upcoming plans for the week.

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.

The general assembly also voted on a proposal for how to conduct the Tuesday strike. The plan includes a mass conversion on Sproul Plaza at noon, a 2 p.m. rally with speakers on violence, a march after the rally and a 5 p.m. mass general assembly.

Having a large number of people at the day’s events and subsequent encampment will help “mobilize people for the regents meeting” scheduled for the day after, said a protester at the meeting.

The protester added that any violent clashes with police, like what happened Wednesday, “will be beneficial to our cause.”

After the encampment vote, the general assembly continued debating the larger message of the campus’ occupy movement and whether teach-outs scheduled for noon on Tuesday should include discussions of recent and potential tuition increases and the decrease in state funding for the UC system.

But a protester raised concern that using direct action like a strike against the cuts would end a dialogue about tuition increases and just encourage protesters to “use direct action for the sake of direct action.”

After discussion of whether the protesters should continue a commitment to nonviolence, the general assembly passed a proposal saying it is “not a good strategy to use physical violence to stop vandalism.”

A dissenting protester said it is not a good strategy to not allow people to come between those who are vandalizing.

Afsana Afzal of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.