Administration agrees to restore anthropology library hours

Protesters gather in Kroeber's anthropology library to protest the cuts made to the library's operating hours.
Eugene W. Lau/Staff
Protesters gather in Kroeber's anthropology library to protest the cuts made to the library's operating hours.

The occupation of UC Berkeley’s anthropology library ended Saturday evening when campus administrators agreed to meet the demands of protesters and restore the library’s hours, marking the second time the campus has restored the library’s hours in response to a student occupation.

The demonstration began as a “study-in” Thursday evening in protest of cuts made to the library’s operating hours for the spring semester after a longtime library staffer resigned unexpectedly.

About 30 protesters were in the library Saturday evening when news came that Tom Leonard, UC Berkeley’s university librarian, signed the agreement to restore the anthropology library’s hours to its fall 2011 schedule. On a temporary basis, students will be hired to help staff the library.

According to the agreement, recruitment will start on Monday, but anthropology department chair Terrence Deacon said that many of the department’s faculty members have volunteered to work at the library during the morning hours until students can be hired. He added that during hours when there is no professionally trained library staff present, the circulation desk will be closed but the library will remain open for computer use and as a study space.

The original demands that protesters sent to administrators requested that the campus find a full-time staff member to work in the library within the next 30 days, but the campus agreed to the demands only after negotiating to start the search for a full-time staff member in that time period instead, according to Yvette Felarca, a national organizer for BAMN.

The agreement comes a little more than two years after the campus administrators restored the library’s hours following a similar demonstration.

In October 2009, the campus cut the Saturday operating hours of the anthropology library and other campus libraries to offset the library system’s budget deficit. The hours of all libraries were restored after students held a 24-hour “study-in” at the anthropology library that month and the campus received donations from UC Berkeley parents and students.

Callie Maidhof, a graduate student in the anthropology department who participated in both occupations, said that because this week’s restoration of library hours is the second time administrators have responded directly to a student occupation of the library, protesters are making it apparent that direct action is effective in changing campus policies.

“It sends a clear message of the power of collective direct action when students come together and say ‘we are going to do to this, and we are going to hold out until we get what we want,’” Maidhof said. “It is particularly poignant when we have the support of faculty and staff.”

During last week’s occupation, anthropology department faculty made arrangements with the campus administration to help supervise the protest past the library’s closing hours on the condition that campus police officers would not intervene.

Deacon, who spent much of the protest in the library and said he had been in conversation with administrators throughout the protest, said there was “good faith at the administrative level” about the students who occupied the library.

Staff writers Geena Cova, Chloe Hunt and Amy Wang contributed to this report.

Amruta Trivedi is the lead academics and administration reporter.

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  • Gurest

    Learn more about BAMN:

  • EdJones

    Anyone wanting to know about this Ronald Cruz clown should read this article from 2001. This guy has been an “activist” and a festering sore on the ass end of Berkeley politics for over a decade now. Some people never grow up:

    23, a senior majoring in ethnic studies, patrols the Sproul Plaza
    pavement like a vulture, handing out fliers and discussing political
    issues with students.”Justified or not, school comes second, a distant second.

    do have a good grade point average, but I find many times where I can
    spend three or four days in a row without looking at my homework,” says
    Cruz, smirking as if his parents were listening.

    look at Cruz, one must see and know activism. Because he wears
    activism, sleeps activism, bleeds activism, talks activism, breathes

    gay since his freshman year at Berkeley, Cruz uses his sexual
    orientation as a launching pad for his activism, effortlessly exchanging
    rhetoric on activism and orientation as if they were the same subject.
    “Being gay and a political activist go hand-in-hand,” he says. “What
    drives me is the fact that I’m gay. It’s almost as if I have to be

    BAMN’s intense dedication to action has earned them names like “sectarian extremists.” A recent East Bay Express
    feature story focusing on BAMN’s intervention in the Oakland Teacher’s
    Union, characterizes the group as wild-eyed activists who “[L]ong ago
    lost any credibility on the U.C. Campus … Almost everyone regarded them
    as amusing caricatures, forever wailing from loudspeakers at indifferent
    students walking through Sproul Plaza.”
    Chris Thompson writes about his own experiences seeing BAMN members in
    action, accusing them of turning students who “were not terribly
    political” away from any kind of activism as a result of their
    usually wakes up around 6 a.m., tends to his one class per day (the
    sixth-year senior only needs six units to graduate this year), then
    scurries to the tiny booth on Sproul Plaza, rain or shine.
    Sixth-year senior in 2001, professional activist – talk about a loser!

  • Felarca is an idiot

    Felarca gets very little of what she demanded but of course she congrats herself for a victory.

    Does anyone take BAMN seriously?

  • Anthropology alum

    Okay, Ronald, I’m gonna take time to respond only this once to you and BAMN and then I’m gonna let it go:

    1. When you speak of a necessity of using “force” to accomplish your goals, where dies it end? If the ends justify the means, what kind of forceful means are we talking about? Would you bring back the guillotine of the French Revolution? It takes only a nudge for that kind of thinking to lead to atrocities, even crimes against humanity.

    2. If I’m so crazy, why dint you put it to a vote? The next time you show up at a student-led demonstration, why don’t you ask for a show of hands to find out if you’re wanted? I dare you.

  • Guest

    BAMN is a racist hate group.  They should be treated no differently than the Klan.

  • Ronald Cruz

    Didn’t want to simply respond to those weird comments here…

    I also wanted to just say CONGRATULATIONS everybody and THANK YOU for being part of the occupation and/or supporting it! It truly was inspiring to see so much support from students and faculty, including from the many thousands who didn’t actively participate themselves but followed and sympathized with it all along.

    This was our first clear, concrete victory for the Occupy Cal movement, and we can win many more and bigger victories from here. We should all talk at the next General Assembly about what our next actions should be, and also discuss the occupation how this victory was won.

    • By all accounts of others it was assholes like you trying to derail it. Once again, what f*cking business do you have in being on campus? I’m an alum, and probably have as much right (if not more) to go back to Cal and participate in some protest activity, but I certainly wouldn’t waste my time or impose on the students, faculty, administration or campus law enforcement and make a pest of myself. Jerks like you need to grow up, seek some serious psychological counseling for your unresolved adolescent rage issues, and get a real job. Maybe moving out of Berkeley would help give you some perspective on how the real world works…

    • Danguide

      In response to that clown Ronald McDonald Cruz, we have learned that you once were an Ethnic Studies major. That abrogates the very idea that you had been a “student” as the department is a waste of time and the taxpayers’ money. The professors in the department focus only upon minorities as “victims” and encase their rhetoric in absurd ideology. The results are “graduated” clowns such as Ronald McDonald and his BAMN comrades.

  • Anthro alum

    I would like to strongly agree with the posters below that BAMN really does hijack protests by attempting to seize power in an event that should be powerless. Seriously, I’m not a fan of protests in general, but I was hella down when there was talk of extending library hours. Then BAMN got in and started talking about firing administrators and massive revolution and all kinda of bullshit. I want people who want real social change to kick the faces in of BAMN. Hey, BAMN, you guys ate like George Orwell’s animal farm: you seize power and become the fascists. Seriously, you’re like Nazi brown shirts waiting to happen, you scary assholes. Please go home and let other people ask for library hours to be extended. We don’t need you and we don’t want you. You guys are cloaked fucking Nazis.

    • Anonymous

      You’re exactly right!  As someone who camped in the library, I can confirm all of your wild libel, slander, accusations and more!

      Yes, we originally thought a mere extension of hours would be a good goal for our Occupation, but BAMN used their powers and showed us the True Path.

      Our new demands included making all students who didn’t participate in the protest to wear a signifying armbands at all times.  Also, all faculty were to be rounded up and put in reeducation camps.  Furthermore, the Chancellor and his staff are to be executed by firing squad.

      … Or, none of that happened, and you are talking out of your ass, you fucking loon.

      • EdJones

        Looks like the little attention whore is back…

        • Hey, that’s MY line! But never mind Ergoat, he’s a spoiled little trust-fund kiddie who has wasted most of his brain cells on drugs, and has the website to prove it:

          • Anonymous

            Oh noes!  You’ve exposed my secret website that I’ve had public for 5 years unmodified!

            What brilliant journalism you’ve displayed, by typing “Ergoat” into a Google search!  With such talents, you should work for the Daily Cal!

            Thanks for the traffic!

          • Given the fact that the Daily Cal writers can’t even post a physical description of the various and sundry criminal suspects, even when that info is available on the campus police website, I have clearly demonstrated my superior investigative skills already. In any case, who cares if your site hasn’t been updated for 5 days or 5 years? Have you grown up since then, tried to find gainful employment, or attempted to modify or repudiate your juvenile attitude? Apparently not, since you’re content to let the asinine crap on that site represent your image and viewpoints to the rest of the world…

      • Ronald Cruz

        Right on, Ergoat. All the lies and slanders are getting pretty wild aren’t they? Seems like some people can’t quite deal with the fact that the movement won something, that the occupation was united and respectful and included not only BAMN but many others who were unaffiliated or part of other organizations talking together, studying together, and sleeping in a library together for a cause, and actually WINNING it! They can’t deny we had a victory — so instead they slander to make it seem like this action wasn’t as democratic, inclusive, and united as it was.

        It’s important to recognize these all as McCarthyist-style “outsider” baiting that have always been leveled against civil rights and antiwar movements in the past, in an attempt to slander the entire movement as a whole.

        Finally, Anthro alum’s comments, once you look past all the lies and hyperbole, states
        his/her basic argument in the 1st sentence, that demonstrations “should
        be powerless.” Yes, BAMN and the other occupiers have a fundamental disagreement with this —
        events SHOULD have power. We need to FORCE the 1% to act on the 99%’s demands, because we understand they will not give it up themselves. Any other position concedes the power to run society to the tiny few.

        • [We need to FORCE the 1% to act on the 99%’s demands]

          You sound a lot like those people in dark-colored shirts with skinny black ties and armbands running around Europe in the 1930s…

    • Note my comment to Chris23 above. As I stated before, students aren’t doing themselves a favor by associating themselves or aligning with BAMN, Occupy Whatever, wobblies, tree-sitters, geriatric 1960’s hippie holdovers, or any of the other professional sh!t-stirrers who are only interested in peddling their own far-left agendas.

    • Rog

      During the Afhan War protests in 2011, BAMN was excluded from the coalition for making press statements claiming they were speaking for the coalition.

      BAMN has always been a shifty bunch of posers.

      • Rog

        Excuse me — in 2001.

  • Chris23

    The BAMN people there wanted all sorts of ridiculous stuff, but the students kept their attention on what mattered & got it. There’s a lesson there.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not BAMN & that statement is not accurate.  But I don’t suppose people scroll down to DailyCal comments for accuracy.

    • Ronald Cruz

      Wow… will you identify yourself? It’s clearly easy to make up a lie like that when you don’t have to make clear who you are. I do agree however with the 2nd part of your sentence — this was a well-conducted action because there was a lot of great discussion and votes on what we were fighting for, what would be our demands, how we would conduct the occupation (we ran the library ourselves and kept it a clean 24-hour study space), how we would measure we had a victory, and when we would leave. And that was only made possible because we had respect, democracy, and solidarity and didn’t sink into divisive rhetoric like yours. –Ronald Cruz, BAMN

      • BigT

        Ronald, why do you keep referring to student actions with “we”?  You’re a paid BAMN organizer, not a student.

        • Ronald Cruz

          I never claimed I was a student. I say “we” because I am a part of the same movement, which is a fight of and for the future of all the 99%. Also, your insinuation presumes that non-UCB students have no place in an action fighting for UCB to be a public university, which is both elitist and absurd.

          • [I never claimed I was a student. I say “we” because I am a part of the same movement, which is a fight of and for the future of all the 99%.}

            You’re not part of any “99%”. You’re a professional activist, most likely someone who has never had a real job of substance in your life. All you do is run around being an attention whore and demanding OTHERS do stuff, instead of  doing something constructive yourself. See, even your fellow liberals are tired of your antics.

          • AnotherGuest

            Hmm, so you’re not a student, and I’m willing to bet you’re not a taxpayer either. Both of those groups have some legitimate interest in political issues on campus. Where do you suppose you have any special entitlement to presume you’re part of “we”?

          • Dsfdfsd

            He pays taxes if he has ever been on a flight, lived in a house or bought any non-food item.  Idiot.

          • EdJones

            And if he ever was a student, he consumed far more in state educational funding than any miniscule amount paid for in sales taxes, so he’s a net consumer. The real idiots are people like you who have probably never had a real job and have no clue that people who pay income taxes support education in this state.

          • EdJones

            “I never claimed I was a student.”

            But you were a “sixth-year senior” and Ethnic Studies major in 2001. Is this your way of telling us you dropped out because you thought being a shrill little protester with a bullhorn was more important than concentrating on your studies and graduating from Cal?

            Your parents must be SO proud of you. Loser.

      • Anthropology alum

        Dude doesn’t have to identify himself. I was there too. BAMN was asking for people to be fired and all kinds of revolutionary stuff. I thought to myself, “man, just get the fucking library hours restored”. BAMN needs to but the fuck out. This was a victory for and by the students.

        And why do you want people to identify themselves? So you wackos can harass them? Fuck off, no one likes you.

    • OK, so why don’t you students disown the whole far left Occupy crowd and act more like reasonable human beings? Seems you’re not getting the better end of the deal by associating with these professional activist nutters.

      • Guest

        So Tony, you support the library action, minus BAMN?

        • Why don’t you answer my question first? You ever had a real job in your life, or you just hang around trying to capitalize on student protests @ Cal?

          • AnotherGuest

            He’s not going to answer the question. He’s a “professional activist”.

    • GoldenBear

      It would seem that many level headed adults are deterred from participating in certain campus manifestations.  Simply by visiting such an event, one is likely to encounter a myriad of ultra-leftist: patchouli vagrants, dreadlock wearing hipsters, and self-proclaimed socialist/anarchist/communist. 
      The library in Kroeber Hall is a haven for good study time, but as long as professional protestors are involved in ANY event, then I remain suspicious of their motives, ends, and participation. 

      P.S.  When you have a small group of kids blaming the chancellor for anything that occurs on campus, but also in the country, then you lose support from LEVEL HEADED ADULTS. That is, students that have worked, paid taxes, supported their families with their jobs as opposed to being supported by mommy and daddy while you smoke dope, shop, and gripe about anything.