Occupy Cal general assembly votes to re-establish encampment

Carli Baker/Staff
Carli Baker/Staff

A crowd of about 3,500 packed into Upper Sproul Plaza Tuesday evening, convening a general assembly where they voted overwhelmingly to re-establish 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.

Additionally, they voted on proposals regarding whether to send an open letter to individuals including the UC Board of Regents, the CSU Board of Trustees and unspecified education administrators, as well whether to re-establish an encampment.

All three proposals passed with an overwhelming number of votes with margins far exceeding the 80 percent requirement for any proposal to be passed by the assembly.

“I believe we should continue and stay, to assemble and to build on these steps a truly free university,” said Amanda Armstrong, graduate student and campus head steward for United Auto Workers Local 2865.

Efforts to establish an encampment at the protests last Wednesday were met with police actions that have drawn criticism, attracted national attention and elicited public outcry from a wide range of concerned groups and campus community members.

Prior to the assembly’s meeting, campus Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab advised students how to peacefully submit oneself to police in the event of arrest, a statement that was met with jeers from the assembled crowd.

“When the police return to beat us into submission, stand strong,” said UC Berkeley senior Morgan Crawford, at a later point during the assembly. Crawford said he was beaten by the police at last Wednesday’s encampment.

At the end of the meeting, around 15 police officers lingered near the outskirts of the assembled group, monitoring. Legal observers wearing neon green hats were also dispersed throughout the crowd.

Just prior to the assembly, the crowd was joined by around 300 demonstrators from Occupy Oakland and unaffiliated city residents, who were all included in votes to decide the group’s future actions.

“I think this whole Occupy situation is good for our world,” said Berkeley resident Nick Fikaris, who was present at the general assembly. “We need some kind of change. And that’s why I’m here, to see the change happen.”

For each proposal, time was given for small groups to discuss options before the floor was opened up to speakers who had a limited amount of time to present their viewpoints. Afterwards, votes were taken and tallied.

Towards the end of the allotted time for the general assembly, the crowd swelled even further in anticipation of UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s much-anticipated Mario Savio Memorial Lecture.

The general assembly concluded just after 8 p.m., with facilitators declaring the group’s intention to continue convening at 6 p.m. every day, indefinitely.

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  • 00p@u

    It’s sad that nothing will come of this. 

  • MrPerfect

    I checked it out in person. They had a dance party at Sproul last night.  Lots of bums and dope-heads from Telegraph hanging out. There’s just no way anyone is going to take you seriously. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    Hey Occupy Whatever people, here’s what the rest of the country really thinks of you:

    Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that has been correct with
    most of its election surveys this year, has a new survey that indicates
    the Occupy movement is grating on people. Surprisingly, after two months
    of Occupiers defiling public spaces across America, voters are suddenly more fond of tea partiers than of occupiers.  Even better, Tea Party favorables are up ten points from a month ago among independent voters.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters
    across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its
    goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11
    point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared
    to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were
    opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall
    Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/ppp-occupy-makes-voters-nostalgic-tea-party#.TsPfmVpQLbs.twitter

    • Anonymous

      Even liberal San Franciscans speak poorly of Cal protesters:
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/comments/view?f=/c/a/2011/11/16/BA4H1LVUS1.DTL
       

      • Calipenguin

        Do you know why the Civil Rights Act passed?  It’s not because people approved of the tactics and cause of African Americans and their allies.  It’s precisely the opposite.  They had grown so tired of the feeling that their lives had been disrupted that they would rather just support the bill and stop the civil disobedience than continue to have the cessation of business as usual.   So if you’re using opinion polls as a metric for the progress of the movement, you’re a pretty shitty social scientist.

      • Anonymous

        You two out of town trolls are holding up the Washington Examiner and the comments section of the SFGate as legitimate sources? Hahahahahaha good one.

        • Anonymous

          Joke’s on you buddy, since San Francisco is even more liberal than Berkeley on some issues and the people of San Francisco are laughing at you protesters.
           

          • jackterrier

            SFGate’s top commenter lives in Texas. Fox News and Big Government regularly link to the Chron as red meat for their podunk readers. The paper’s readership reaches all the way from Humboldt to Fresno.
            Comment sections tend to attract idealogues looking to troll and pimp their agenda. Kinda like yourself.

          • Anonymous

            It never fails.  When you protesters can’t stand the message you attack the messenger.

          • jackterrier

            Haven’t you been calling all Occupiers rapists for the last couple days? Don’t start getting sanctimonious now.

          • jackterrier

            Honest question: why do y’all conservatives get butthurt so easily? 
            I thought you guys were all macho ladykillers.

  • Faifer14

    I absolutely agree with SA.  The recession in the country is causing a lot of anger erupting here and there.  But look at those who are suffering from horrible natural disasters in the world.  They lost all of their family members, homes, jobs and no future job possibilities and are struggling how they are supposed to be feeling waking up in the morning until the bedtime.  There is not much solutions in things in general in the society.  We just need to be patient and try to change ‘only what really has to change.’  Don’t waste your time and seek for a big idea.  There are only a few years in college life.  It’s the only period in your life with extra time.  Read many different books and try different things.  We do have to be patient with our country situation and the economy.  We still have houses, clean water and safe food. Read Kite Runner and Little Bee if you have time to occupy and march.

    • Gomer

      Someone needs to spend his free time learning how to write clearly.

      • Calipenguin

        Faifer14:  The industrialized nations of the world have more than enough wealth to help those suffering from tragedies abroad.  Just as the governments have withdrawn support from helping people abroad (except when it is in their political interest to do so), they have done little to help their own people.  Just looking at the massive poverty caused by Hurricane Katrina in our own country, and the almost non-existent government response, as well as the state-supported abdication of contracts between insurers and their policy holders is evidence of this. 

        Gomer:  Shut the fuck up.  I totally disagree with Faifer14, but if waiving your “I speak good” flag is all you have to add, go somewhere else.

        • Anonymous

          Imposter, get your own handle. 

  • Bear

    I am the only person that sees the placement of tents on campus as a danger to students safety? (serious question, I want to hear people’s thoughts one this) The tents will attract many people from outside campus (e.g. homeless people) and the organizers will have not control over who comes to the encampments and their actions, just like in any other occupy encampment. Although for the most part there has not being violence happening in OWS there have being cases of rape, children found drunk and not to mention hygiene.  As finals get closer people will stay late in the library and the campus will full of outsider.

    • EarlBear

       “The campus will full of outsider”  Wha?  You mean non-students on campus?  The campus is wide open and is full of non-students day and night.  Always has been.   It’s public property.  Anyone can be there. The public is welcome there.  It’s not a grammar school where  everyone goes in the main door and the kiddies are supervised all day. It’s not a place you can “lockdown”.  I suspect you’re not really a Bear.   Berkeley was not the place for your student if you were looking for an environment shut off from the rest of the world.   You sure you’re a Bear?

      • Try To Think

         How many homeless people are normally camping in the open areas on campus?
        How many homeless people are now camping in the open areas on campus?

        Get it yet?

    • Student

      You definitely are not the only person. Just look at what happened in Oakland or the dead body found in one of the camps in Utah or all the sexual harassment/rape incidents that have been happening at these encampments. I’m totally against the fee hikes but I really don’t think this is the best way of protesting. 

    • Amylemmer

      This is no different than whats happening in society at large only now instead of swept away its out in the open ,thats the only difference.

      • Calipenguin

        Seriously.  Why do we get upset about *where* sexual assault, murder, and homelessness (why on earth this is in the same category as the others is just horrible ignorance) occur rather than the fact THAT they occur?  If you think the homeless are such a threat, why is it worse that they threaten people close to Cal as opposed to anyone else?  You obviously aren’t concerned about general “public” safety.  You are concerned about the safety of people close to your socioeconomic status, who look and act like you.  Should we not let white people attend public schools anymore because of what happened in Columbine?  Should we close every Occupy camp in the country because the same tragic events that happen in other places elsewhere in the country all the time every year are now happening, on rare, rare occasions, in or near Occupy camps?

  • 4allofus

    This parent and grandparent to be applauds both sides for being peaceful, this is really about all of us.  And thank you to the chancellor for calling on  Sacramento so that we can start a dialogue and create solutions, which will be painful but necessary.

  • Anonymous

    “…demonstrators from Occupy Oakland and unaffiliated city residents, who
    were all included in votes to decide the group’s future actions.”

    Cal students may not be aware that Occupy Cal now includes non-Cal voting members who may not necessarily want to leave when legitimate students want them to leave.  Psychotic bums off their meds, registered sex offenders, and junkies looking for ways to fund their habits will be sleeping on campus, hanging out with teenage students, and committing crimes of opportunity.  Oh yeah, Cal students will be funding the massive UCPD overtime bill through Cal student fees.

    • EarlBear

      Is that you Ray Kelly?

    • Gerald

      You have no evidence that this is happening.  We do not need to waste time be afraid of supposed ghosts.

  • Matt Alum

    Wow, third time’s a charm–a protest that is ACTUALLY PEACEFUL. Now was that so hard to do? Sheesh.

    • Yoda

      I’m sorry, is that rhetorical question aimed at the UCPD?

  • ikang

    Keep it up guys!  If we just sit on sproul and annoy the crap out of everyone for a little longer, i’m sure the chancellor will come and redistribute all of american wealth for us 99%!!!

    • SA

      Sorry to tell you, but this could likely happen in  your next life! This is not going to do the trick. And although I don’t disagree that long-term change needs to happen, that’s exactly it–it won’t happen overnight, no matter how many tents are pitched!  The responsibility of the University, the Board of Regents AND all of us is to provide a safe environment for education for our students. Period.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    These dumbos have NO interest in a positive resolution of the student tuition issue. They are merely looking for an excuse to have another physical (and pointless) confrontation with authority figures.

    • Calipenguin

      Tony, what’s your solution to the student tuition issue?  What have you done to help those who are currently unemployed not because of their college major, their work ethic, or their character, but rather because demand has plummeted so people have lost their jobs?  What should be done?  What have you done?

      • Anonymous

        Imposter, get your own handle. 

  • SA

    As a parent, I am not in favor of this effort at all. What are the finite results of the Occupy movement so far? Absolutely nothing! I don’t think we can say that putting tents up on campus will lead to any positive action or resolution.  As a parent, I absolutely disagree with the tuition hikes, but this is not the way to solve it. The Board of Regents is certainly at fault for its incredible inaction and  lack of leadership. The Chancellor unfortunately is most certainly clueless.  However, since parents and students are in fact paying tuition now, we should not be paying for the considerable time spent and disruption caused by students protesting. Even more disconcerting is the thought that we are PAYING for professors to protest! We are paying for education, not protest.

    • Admlostsailor

      it’s far to early to tell the exact achievements of these movements. As we reflect on past movements, we have had time to digest and understand their accomplishments.  Its easy to look back on 1964 Free Speech Movement and analyze what it achieved. It may be a year or more before we comprehend if these occupy movements change anything. Elections are coming up. As more people understand there is a serious wealth distribution problem in this country. Professional politicians are in bed with corporations. And that year after year we cut educational funding but continue to pay outrageous per diem to our politicians, allow them to vote pay increases, gerrymander bounties, and dozens of more things that are going wrong in our state.

      • Guest

        Politicians are also in bed with the government employee unions.  The out of control pension and benefit spending in Sacramento is not easily cut as much of it is locked in via contracts.  So they cut education since they can and they don’t fear the wrath of students as much as they fear the wrath of the unions

    • EarlBear

      Nothing?   The words “income inequality” were never in the news before Occupy.   Social movements don’t happen overnight.  As for paying professors to protest – paying tuition to a public university is not like being a customer at Nordstrom.  You’re not a shareholder or a paying customer. The professors are not your employees.  The Chancellor isn’t a manager you complain to.  If that’s so, then the students are just a commodity.  You need to listen to Mario Savio’s speech.  What’s disconcerting is it sounds like you sent a student to Berkeley without understanding the most important lesson taught at Berkeley is that  a commitment to social justice is a moral obligation.  Some graduate and don’t listen to the lesson.  What you’re seeing with Occupy is students showing they have heard the lesson.   Maybe you’d be happier with a place like Liberty University.

      • Try To Think

        Nothing?   The words “income inequality” were never in the news before Occupy.

        Yes, they were. Obama used all of that as part of his campaign for re-election.
        You know, how he was going to get rid of tax cuts for the rich and all? Only then he broke his campaign promise and kept them?

        The most important lesson taught in the City of Berkeley is that noble ideals always fail without realistic goals and an actionable plan.

      • SA

        Whether you agree with it or not, in paying tuition to any university, you are indeed paying for the professor’s and administrator’s salaries as well as your students’ education. It’s the Chancellor’s and the Board’s responsibility to provide that education and ours to support it. Life is too short to spend time marching/occupying. If you want to take action to make a change, then choose something that will actually work.

        • EarlBear

           Paying tuition to a public university is not like making a purchase in a store.  

          • Try To Think

            Paying tuition to a public university is a lot more like making a purchase in a store than you would like to think.

          • Gerald

            It’s really not at all.  Your tuition payments do not cover the cost of educating your child (not even at a private school).  Universities are funded by tax money, by alumni giving, by corporate donations and grants, and only partially by tuition.

            I’m a student in the College of Engineering.  These protests haven’t disrupted by studies at all.  They have made me more optimistic about the United States, and they have made me more interested in using my skills to improve things.

            Don’t buy into the impression that teaching isn’t going on.  That is not true.

          • SN

            To be fair, you pay tuition at a University to have the students be taught by professors. How they choose to teach them is completely up to them. I’m also in the college of engineering and classes haven’t been disrupted afaik. If anything, I’m incredibly happy to see this level of activity in Berkeley again, which demonstrates the students desire to engage the community.

        • Calipenguin

          ” Life is too short to spend time marching/occupying.”

          Totally.  Those women who marched and used force to win the right to vote totally wasted their lives.  Those unionists who died so we could have a weekend and do away with child labor — what the fuck were they thinking?  African Americans who marched and conducted sit-ins where they weren’t welcome?  They must have totally regretted how much people didn’t like them.  Feminists who helped push for women’s control over their own bodies and for legislation with real teeth to prevent discrimination?  Totally bullshit.  Never in history has marching and occupying coincided with anything positive happening.  Congress was totally planning to do the Civil Rights act for 100 years, it’s just that the printer jammed and they couldn’t get the bill out.  It wasn’t about marches that called attention to issues and grabbed the public’s attention and forced powerful people to start paying attention and not just give lip service to such things.  Not at all. 

          • Anonymous

            Imposter, get your own handle.

          • Anonymous

            Butthurt troll is butthurt

          • Anonymous

            Oh grow up!

             

          • SA

            Here’s the thing:  In order for  true change to not only start but to actually happen, someone has to think about a realistic, implementable plan of action. Don’t think we’ve seen that yet; just demonstrations and drama.

    • Luke

      SA: “since parents and students are in fact paying tuition now, we should not be paying for the considerable time spent and disruption caused by students protesting. Even more disconcerting is the thought that we are PAYING for professors to protest!”
      EDUCATION IS PROTEST. It’s protest against ignorance and social alienation. And, I think it’s a shame we have to pay for it at all, and then that people like you find every conceivable way to discredit its importance, and complain about having to pay for it. Luckily this revolution will not take place on chatrooms and I should leave before I get sucked into this broken record.

      Students (and humans in general): If you’re not an activist, you are wasting your time. I echo George Quibuyen and say “Put that knowledge into practice and test your own standards.” Read it, be it.

      • Anonymous

        So why bother going to school at all?  Get your kids to skip school and protest everything.  You can save us California a ton of money by going to protests and conscientiously objecting to Cal Grants.

  • Details From Zucotti

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-police-raid-eviction
    Next to me, an officer was telling an important-looking guy named Eddie
    about “the intel we’ve had over the past couple of months” about “the
    severely mentally retarded, the ones that are real fucked up in the
    head, and have been violent in the past.” He went on: “They are a little
    off kilter. They’re off their meds. They haven’t had meds in 30 days.”

    This is a FROZEN ZONE, all right?” he said, using a term I’d never heard
    before. “Just like them, you have to leave the area. If you do not, you
    will be subject to arrest.”

    Why are you excluding the press from observing this?” I asked.
    “Because this is a frozen zone. It’s a police action going on. You could be injured.” His meaning was clear. I let myself be hustled across the street to the press pen. “What’s your name?” His reply came as fast as he could turn away: “Watch your back.”

    • ArwenUndomniel

      And this has… what… to do with Occupy Cal?