Occupy Cal turns one month old

Members of Occupy Cal set up across from Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's house for the one-month anniversary of the start of Occupy.
Derek Remsburg/Staff
Members of Occupy Cal set up across from Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's house for the one-month anniversary of the start of Occupy.

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.

UC Berkeley senior Nick Lake, who has played a prominent role as an artist in maintaining Occupy Cal’s visibility, was tasked with making the setup visible to Birgeneau’s home.

Lake’s decorations — the focal point of the “birthday party” — included signs in trees and on light poles, such as one that read “Dance with us Birgeneau.” He also draped a tree with pink streamers.

Much of Lake’s work, like the birthday space, has a message of thinking differently that resonates with the global Occupy movement, he said.

“Spaces can motivate new ways of thinking, creativity,” Lake said. “I’m trying to make spaces that favor inspiration.”

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  • Congrats!

    I’m happy with how this was executed. At the GA I voted against this proposal, but I think carrying it out during the day and in such a loving way was a great way to have a good time, make a point, and make sure that this wasn’t a perceived attack on the chancellor’s house. 

    • OccupyRobin

      I think I may know who you are :)

  • This is obviously a big deal for students who aren’t majoring in anything demanding. The rest of them are probably far more concerned with finals.

    • GUEST

      Nonsense. Nick was finishing several huge projects, including his thesis, while he has been on his hands and knees on the cement every day making art. I am a 4.0 student, and I’ve been out there organizing every day. You don’t know how hard everybody is working to strike a balance, so please can it.

      • A 4.0 in what? I’m curious…

        • Guest

          I am a double major in architecture and English, not that it’s any of your business. I know a lot of the people out there, and they are as hardworking as they are principled, and that is why they are so deeply invested in this struggle. The terms of your debate are flawed, period.You have no idea what people are up against, and your assumption that people are doing this because the rest of our lives are easy shows that you don’t know any of us, and you can’t see that for many of us, the scholarly work we do informs our involvement and strategies in OCCUPY. It is all connected, and it’s all an education..

          • Stan De San Diego

            Given that “architecture” is “generally regarded as “Civil Engineering Lite”, even consider that your own financial well being would be far better served by ditching the fluff courses for some solid math, phsyics, and materials courses, and becoming a real engineer instead?

          • GUEST

            Hey trolly, thanks for much for your  feedback on the relative value of my academic pursuits. I had never considered before that exploiting every possible avenue to make as much money as possible should outweigh my talents and passion as an architectural historian. In fact, I study public space, and in this climate of increased privatization, who needs ethical scholars to talk about the importance of non-commercialized points for interclass contact? I mean, we could all just meet at Walmart, or Chez Pannisse, so who needs parks, or a single inch of an unadvertised world, anyway? And while we’re playing discipline olympics, I should probably drop the whole English literature thing too. If less people are reading than ever before, why should any of us bother with literature at all? Thank you for pointing out what I’ve been missing: that “progress” is shorthand for efficiency, capital, corporatization, and soullessness, and we’d all better act accordingly.

          • Stan De San Diego

            I find it amusing how the same people who denigrate the idea of majoring in something that is economically viable and compensatory, are the same ones who think the solution to their own economic well-being is to camp out in some park and whine about people who did a far better job of planning their future and therefore have more money than they do. Oh well, clear proof that one can be educated and clueless at the same time.

          • GUEST

            Because clearly, running this country according to the values and practices of what is viable and compensatory has been working out so well for all of us.

          • Stan De San Diego

            It works alright for those of us who view college as a place to acquire useful skills, as opposed to trying to implement some silly Utopian vision on the rest of the universe.

          • Anonymous

            Stan got a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate on the internet and now works as a network programmer… although just using Windows hardly counts as “programming” Stan.  

          • Anonymous

            Show us your professional engineer’s license Stan.  You can’t even spell physics right.  You’re the kind of idiot who would mix up feet and meters; or screw up some annotation on a drawing and cost the project thousands of dollars and a month of schedule.  You’re a bad engineer and silly, worthless kook. 

          • Stan De San Diego

            Look who’s obsessed with me.

        • Anonymous

          Why bother being curious Tony?  For guys like you and Stan, it’s a silly kooky worthless distraction from making money by doing solid engineering.  Enjoy evaluating deviations from spec for plastic sporks or writing TPS reports about software engineering at Innotech.  Engineering is important, but guys like you give real engineers a bad name because you think the rest of us want to live in a world without art, literature, and curiosity.  Don’t talk for the rest of us when you start slinging your crap about human endeavors you think are useless. 

    • OccupyRobin

      I’m finishing my PhD, doing freelance software dev. and being part of Occupy Cal.  Everyone else there is trying to delicately balance work and Occupy.  It’s hard, but they’re doing it.

    • OHP510

      I’m a PhD student, but hey, making baseless assumptions is fun too.

      • Oooh, lotsa “PhD students” making claims here. Once again, care to share your major with us, or are you too embarrassed to admit it?

        • OccupyRobin

          Computational Biology (modelling and analysing cellular activity, specifically signalling pathways).

          • Stan De San Diego

            So what do you think you’re going to accomplish by hanging out with a bunch of Occupy idiots?

          • GUEST

            Stan, I can hardly believe that you’re from San Diego, right on the edge of a desert known for stomping out intellectuals and chasing Mexicans around with M-16s. I guess the trolling the internet has made is so San Diegans don’t even have to go outside anymore.

          • Stan De San Diego

            Well, I can definitely believe you’re from Berkeley, given your demonstrable parochialism and ignorance about what goes on in the rest of the state. But then again, it’s probably much easier for you to change the subject to San Diego than try to defend the lunacy of your typical Berkeley fringe kook, right?

          • Anonymous

            There again with the word “kook”.  Stan’s mom called him that when he was “silly”.  It traumatized him so much he uses that word whenever he thinks others are being silly.  Stan and Tony weren’t capable of triple majoring in EE, CS, and Mech E. Come on, Stan – if you can’t derive the diffusion equation from first principles and explain it in iambit pentameter you’re just a silly worthless kook who will never amount to anything.   

          • Stan De San Diego

            I noticed when looking at your history of posts, 80-90% of them refer to me by name, even when you aren’t responding to me. Given that you are obsessed with me, I’m willing to bet you’re also the troll who hijacked my handle.