Occupy Cal representatives meet with UC Berkeley administration

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.

According to Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, a UC Berkeley graduate student and one of the assembly’s two representatives, Basri expressed interest in attending a general assembly to address the issue of encampments on campus.

“He seemed sympathetic to our demands,” Huet-Vaughn said at the general assembly on Friday.

Basri was able to get a better understanding of the movement’s demands, according to UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

“The protesters have an interest in seeing more from the administration to address the decline in state funding,” Gilmore said. “That, and stopping fee increases.”

Yet both Huet-Vaughn and Amanda Armstrong, a UC Berkeley head steward for United Auto Workers Local 2865 and the assembly’s other representative, said they attended the meeting with Basri as the assembly’s messengers to simply discuss demands, not as individuals to negotiate how demands should be dealt with.

Huet-Vaughn declined to comment on the success of the meeting, saying it would be wrong to speak on behalf of the entire assembly.“I don’t want to anger anyone,” he said.

Amruta Trivedi covers academics and administration.

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  • Guest

    Occupy a job, hippies !

  • Guest

    You’re a bunch of disease-ridden, drug-using fleabaggers.  You don’t get to make demands.

    • Anonymous

      If you want to make a difference, I suggest directing your random comments at the people who either have some power within the UC system or the protesters themselves…not people who read stories about administrators and protesters in a college newspaper.

      I choose to believe that you are in 7th grade. Otherwise, I would have to feel bad for you.

  • Cal Alumni

    Hey everyone get Obama to address Police Violence Against Protesters!

    “https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/address-police-violence-against-protesters/KX7SXBvh”

  • Guest

    I don’t get all the vitriol about Occupy Cal (ALL CAPS PROFANITY, hippie name-calling, etc.).  Whether you agree with Occupy in general, when you hear that tuition/fees have doubled in the past few years and the Regents are voting on an 80% increase, how can you possibly thinks it’s unreasonable (or even a surprise) that students are going to protest those changes?

    • The “vitriol” about Occupy Cal is that they are doing NOTHING constructive  to address the situation, merely looking to gain attention for themselves and get in confrontations with people who have no control over the issue whatsoever. They posture as if they are demonstrating against the Regents and UC administration, but in reality, they are playing right into their hands by diverting attention for the real problems: the screwed up priorities of the administration as well as the waste, fraud, and abuse that is rampant through the UC system. What part of that is so hard for you to understand?

      • jd

        Tony,

        Just which administration’s screwed up priorities did you like?

        • Every UC administration has been screwed for as long as political correctness and social activism have been incorporated into the academic agenda…

  • Sen

    The University needs to get their ball in order and expel these hippie [email protected]$s. If I’m paying good money to go to a university where I can’t even get an education because of a loud mouthed, whiny minority, then I can go elsewhere like Stanford which was what I should have accepted in the first place. 

    Remember the tree sitters, how freaking long were they there? Can you people stop coddling these reactionary fools? They will be your demise, not the supposedly revolutionary changes that are taking place to public education… I really don’t see neither Stanford or Harvard suffering because they’re private, not with the quality of their education or the public nuisance that has become the protesters. 

    • CalParent

      Transfer to Stanford and take your prejudice with you. By the way these are not hippies [email protected]$s, they are people. Referring to the students that are protesting as objects is as ignorant as any other form of prejudice or racism.

      • CalParent, you are obviously a good little liberal who learned to equate anything you don’t like with racism in an attempt to silence any dissenting views.  Sorry, but the tree-sitters ARE hippies in the classic sense of the word: long-haired, unkempt and unclean, disruptive children with an entitlement mentality. I’m willing to bet they are dopers as well. Walks like a duck…

        • jd

          Tony,

          I myself am not one to sit in trees.  The people occupying Sproul are not ones to exclude people sitting in trees.  So there is a tree-sitter out there, among them (a single one).  Would that make you a tree-sitter if you were to come out there and share your well-considered opinions with everyone else?

  • Shaw S Li

    Help Sign Petition Express Concern Regarding Police Action: http://www.change.org/petitions/robert-j-birgeneau-chancellor-uc-berkeley-police-chief-resign

  • AOK

    Thank you to Amanda and Emiliano for being very responsible. We chose well on Thursday, despite some attendees’ hatred of choosing anyone to ever sit in the same room as an administrator. You stuck true to the movement and helped Basri better understand it and increased the likelihood of an administrator attending the GAs. And thank you, Amruta and The Daily Californian, for this world news quality reporting. You have a great responsibility being the news source closest to the movement to make sure you do not impose a narrative, and this article is among the cleanest, most concise I’ve read on Occupy Cal. Keep up the good work! -Alex Kravitz

    • [Thank you to Amanda and Emiliano for being very responsible. We chose well on Thursday, despite some attendees’ hatred of choosing anyone to ever sit in the same room as an administrator.]

      Well, that type of attitude only indicates what type of children are involved in this Occupy Cal movement. If you’re not enough of a grown adult to sit down at a table with your adversaries present your argument and negotiate your position, your cause is obviously one that other grownups don’t need to take seriously…

      • jd

        And what type of child are you, Tony?

        • Unlike you, I am a grown-up who has learned how to deal with other adults.

          • Arpita

            Tony, the reason that we didn’t want to send anyone to the meeting was because we didn’t want the UC Administration to misrepresent our demands and causes as an entire body, based on negotiations with two people. 
            That being said, Amanda and Emiliano did an amazing job, and I am very proud of them. Why don’t you actually come out to a General Assembly and see what its like before you judge all the participants in it.It is stupid and ignorant of you to speak about people you don’t know and haven’t met based on what you hear and read in a newspaper. 

  • Alumnus

    You know what, I just saw that footage of the UC Davis police pepper spraying those students that were sitting down… ladies and gentlemen I seriously think I’m changing my mind about this … a little.  Y’all occupiers still do some pretty lame shit on occasion (window smashing, etc)

    • Guest

      There’s always the fringe out there…any substantial change will have some turbulence, but I don’t think anyone here would want to turn back the changes the civil rights movement brought about, even though innocent people perished in its course from extremists on both sides of the issue. The police should be keeping the violence from the random loonies from happening, not instigating it.

    • This is a significant point.
      Let’s pretend I accepted the right-wing position that Occupiers are just deluded, asinine fools.
      If that were the case, they still have first amendment rights to protest and speak their minds.
      If that were true, then it would still be insane to peppers spray 30 seated people in their faces at Davis, to use possibly lethal tear gas launchers, to punch people, to press their faces into the pavement (the latter was done in NYC to a city counncilman who says he only wanted to observe the dispersal of the camp).

      and of course, the protesters are RIGHT. the 1% holds about 35% of US wealth, the bottom 80% holds only about 16%.
      At UC like everywheree else, the state is abdicating its responsibility to provide affordable college education, so that that hardworking, qualified students from working and even middle class families can AFFORD to get a university degree and be competitive in the job market.
      It’s considered completely okay for 22% of children to live below the official poverty, for racial inequality to be so high that black unemployment is twice as high as for whites.
      Fuck the way things are.
      We the Occupiers object to all this.
      And the fact that holding a sign and putting up a tent in the name of a movement that has massive participation and support (and the facts to back it) demonstrates rather clearly the lack of principle, the dishonesty, and the fear of the movement by the authorities who systematically serve the wealthy

      • [and of course, the protesters are RIGHT. the 1% holds about 35% of US wealth, the bottom 80% holds only about 16%.]

        And that’s justification for confronting the police over a student tuition issue? Have some of you ever considered the reason that some people are more wealthy than others is due to the fact they were able to produce a good or service others not only wanted or needed, but were willing to pay for?

        For those of you who are obsessed with “income inequality”, how about your own career or education choices, which will affect your earning capability later on in life? Have you considered what major or programs would provide you with the most marketable skills and education in the workforce, or are you majoring in fluff courses with little or no academic rigor or marketable skills, so the only jobs you can find after graduation are retail or food service, and bitch and moan about “income inequality” because your own diploma isn’t worth the parchment it is printed on?

        • jd

          Tony,

          Just who is confronting who?  And confronting is a nice word.  The police have been assigned by the administrators to interfere with the central freedom of the people in our democracy to peaceably assemble and petition the government.

          This is not a confrontation on the part of the protesters.  This is citizens in a democracy being attacked in a foolish and violent attempt by the powers-that-be to interfere with their exercise of the first amendment.

          The logical conclusion of your position is that some day loyal patriots to the plutocrats like you Tony will also have your ribs butted, your faces jammed into the pavement, and your need to use the bathroom ridiculed and used as an excuse to attack you.

          Much as Pastor Niemoler experienced.

          • [The police have been assigned by the administrators to interfere with the central freedom of the people in our democracy to peaceably assemble
            and petition the government.]

            Nonsense. I disagree with a lot of crap this administration does, but given the track record of those involved in these various and sundry Occupy protests, I don’t blame them one bit for wanting to head this nonsense off at the pass by enforcing the law.This idea that they were singled out for “protesting” is just more of the same ludicrous bullshit you and the other apologists for these cretins have been peddling here.

    • jd

      It’s not Y’all occupiers.  It’s y’some occupiers.  The vast majority of the occupiers are not part of some self-professed “black bloc” of nihilists who enjoy smashing windows.  By the way, I don’t see any police effort to focus on them or ferret them out.  Many of us in the movement do not welcome them and have tried to discourage them.

  • UCs Condescension

    UC’s administration needs a few simple things:
    integrity, transparency and common sense.

    The state auditor’s report and efforts by several faculty make clear that UC continually obscures how money is spent.
    $6.6 Billion in 5 years disappears at UCOP w/no accounting.
    http://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2010-105.pdf
    UC uses tuition as collateral for bond deals and lies about it.
    http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/383/they-pledged-your-tuition
    UC managerial growth far outpaces growth of student body and faculty positions.
    http://universityprobe.org/2011/03/new-data-on-management-growth-at-uc/#more-881

    To read Basri’s portfolio/program on UC’s own website is to be inundated with patronizing and empty platitudes.
    http://diversity.berkeley.edu/SPBasri_letter
    (and links w/in that page)
    A lot of money was spent to create that program (15 people visited 5 other universities, studied 120 reports/research findings, conducted town halls, etc.) in a process amounting to a bunch of bureaucrats putting on self-congratulatory circle-jerk.

    Basri’s efforts resulted in 5 new endowed chairs for research programs in inclusive public policy. Those efforts will be futile in the face of an administration (and government) lacking integrity, transparency and common sense.

    • Bobsarnoff

      Can you please come to an Occupy Cal General Assembly and pass out the auditor’s report.

      Thanks.

  • Alumnus

    Demands?  DEMANDS?!  Who the FUCK do you little dip shits think you are?!!!  (if you say “the 99%” I’m going to go completely bat shit)

    I think they should be meeting with you to hear your pleas when UC Administration informs you you’ll have to tell your mommies and daddies that you’ve been dismissed for breaking various codes of conduct at your would-have-been alma mater.   

    You guys think you’re holding Sproul hostage and you can make DEMANDS?  You know they COULD just pepper spray you outta there and go grab a sandwich, right?  

    Just stop saying “demands”, okay?  

    • You are ignorant and misinformed. These protests are non-violent because the students have CHOSEN non-violence.

      The idea that the police or the administration are in control is an illusion that the students and fellow citizens in the community can shatter at any moment of their choosing. Police only maintain control as long was we continue to passively resist.

      It is not the police that tolerate the protesters it is the protesters that tolerate the police.

      Are these students entitled to make demands? You bet they are. You generation and others have had the highest quality of life than any other American generations and you had it by borrowing from the future. Indebting our nation. Your perceived prosperity was gained because you stole the wealth and prosperity of future generations, saddled them with debt, and now expect them to pay for it while simultaneously claiming the need for “austerity” and driving up the cost of tuition by 400% in the last few years and over 8000% since Gov Gerry Brown graduated UC Berkeley.

      You stole from them and have the audacity to call them “little dip shits.” Your generation is selfish irresponsible thieves. YOu have weakened our nation and you succumbed to short sighted self interest to the extent that you encouraged your elected officials to commit economic treason.

      • Fuck Off, Troll

        Wow, what a fine pack of assumptions you’ve got there, my dear!

        Your solution to the problem of past generations kicking the can down the road is to just keep kicking the can down the road even more? What a fucking idiot you are.

        This is a problem that needs to be dealt with. California’s government is bloated and needs to be cut back dramatically. UNFORTUNATELY Jerry Brown refuses to cut Union jobs or bennies, so he’s cutting from education instead.

        If you’re MAD then you should be mad at MAYOR BROWN.

      • Alumnus

        If the protestors tolerate the police, can you explain to me how it is that you got your ass handed to you at Frank Ogawa Plaza TWICE and are no longer there? 

        You also have this nutty little idea that the bulk of the population supports your tactics.  THEY DO NOT.  Ever heard of a silent majority?

        And as for this movement being non-violent, you cowards get pretty brave when you have enough numbers to carry out mob aggression and we’ve seen you do nothing but that for days now and EVERYONE is tired of it.

        Lastly, what do you mean by “my generation”.  Bet you anything I’m younger than you, ya wannabe revolutionary. Probably a dirty old mid-40s troll anyway.  

        • Guenady

          Here’s another alumnus for you, Berkeley 1977, now expat in France, and I can tell you, the whole world IS watching.  Shame on authorities everywhere who cannot understand the real grievances behind these protests, who, in the US, violate the US citizen’s right to peaceful assembly and protest.  But the loss of civil rights quaranteed by our Bill of Rights is no news anymore, is it?  Police on campuses of MY university, Berkeley and Davis, assaulting peaceful, unarmed students and professors.  What limited intelligence it takes to meet peaceful protest with brutish violence.   Will those armed police next begin shooting, because their pepper spray and billy clubs didn’t achieve the desired effect?   About time Americans woke up and realized that the Republic is gone, exists in name only, and that all that is left is democracy–  the need to reclaim our Republic from those who have hijacked it for their own interests, which have nothing to do with the public good. 

          • [Here’s another alumnus for you, Berkeley 1977, now expat in France, and I can tell you, the whole world IS watching.]

            Oh, bullshit. You’re watching because you have a personal interest in Cal as your alma mater, just as I do. Nothing wrong with that, but you think anyone else in France really gives a shit, you’re clearly out of it. You know damn well everyone is looking at Greece, Spain and the other weak players in the EU where the check has come due for welfare state socialism, nobody at the table has the cash to pay it, and the few who can put it on their tab are wondering if they really want to do that. As far as violating anyone’s rights, you missed the part about “peaceful assembly”. The miscreants who identify themselves as part of the Occupy Whatever movement have been FAR from peaceful, and were headed down the same path when the administration (in one of the few things right they have done so far) decided to take some pre-emptive action and enforce the law against squatting and camping overnight. You seem to forget that one’s right to free speech, freedom of assembly, et. al. does NOT obligate others to provide a forum for it. There’s a difference between having a peaceful protest for a day then going home, or even coming back every day to protest, than erecting tents, obstructing access, confronting the cops and making total asses of yourselves. You really need to get a clue…

          • jd

            I’m down with you bro.  Screw the welfare state socialism.  I- like you- much prefer police state socialism and socialism for the rich. 

            See you at the club.

          • Thanks for establishing that you really have nothing of substance to offer, child.

          • Anonymous

            I’m from Sweden and have no affiliation with the Univestiy fo California, but I’m very much interested in what’s happening across the world. From Egypt to Greece to Spain and now the US and the UK, the people are rising up against the corrupt plutocracy where your wealth determines how much power you have, where the democratic principle of one man-one vote has been made completely irrelevant. If you think Greece and Spain are examples of failed welfare states you have been grossly misinformed, the current situation is a direct result of the neoliberal policies that have become so popular among the political class over the past 30 years.

            Oh and just in case you think I’m the only one watching this, here’s an article that just popped up in a mainstream Swedish newspaper today about this very incident. (a bit late for those of us following the movement through other means than mainstream media)
            http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/polis-pepparsprejade-studenter

        • Thomas

          The UC Police Department recruitment office is in the basement of Sproul around the back (by the street).  Sounds like they’d take you, and you can test out of the pepper spray training class with your mean spirit alone.

      • [Your perceived prosperity was gained because you stole the wealth and prosperity of future generations]

        If anyone “stole” from future generations, it’s the politicians in Washington DC AND Sacramento who, through “bailouts” and runaway government spending, as well as making promises they could never keep (fat pensions for government workers who can retire at nearly 100% of their income in some cases) ran the debt sky-high. And, yes, both political parties were responsible. So tell me, of the 2 major protest movements in this country (Tea Party and Occupy Whatever), what groups hold protests targeted at the REAL cuplrits – the politicians – who keep spending this country into debt, and actively campaigns for reform candidates and uses their political muscle to oppose those who they identify as part of the problem, REGARDLESS of whether they have an [R] or [D] after their name? On the other hand, which group is NOT interested in learning how the political process works and using that knowledge to address their issues of concern, but instead would rather set up tents and get into confrontations with the police?

        Likewise, which group holds their protests in a peaceful manner, even cleaning up after themselves, and which group marks its events with violence, vandalism, filth, disease, and criminality? Why don’t you answer those questions before lecturing others here?