Live Blog: Updates from the March 1 Day of Action

After the noon rally, protesters made their way down Telegraph Avenue toward Oakland.
Sean Goebel/Staff
After the noon rally, protesters made their way down Telegraph Avenue toward Oakland.

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Following the controversial events of the Nov. 9  Occupy Cal protests, March 1 begins another Day of Action in support of public higher education at UC Berkeley. Protest events are scheduled to occur across the state at the UC campuses, and campus faculty and administration have endorsed protesters’ plans to march from UC Berkeley to Sacramento in a four-day “99 Mile March for Education and Social Justice” to the Capitol which will begin this afternoon. Before marching to the Capitol, protesters have planned teach-outs and workshops in the morning, followed by a noon rally.

Staff writers Afsana Afzal, Sara Khan, Geena Cova, Sam Buckland, Daphne Chen, Weiru Fang, Chloe Hunt, Charlie Smith, Christopher Yee and Oksana Yurovsky reporting from the field.

6:50 p.m.

The marchers have just passed Albany Bowl.

6:20 p.m.

The marchers have turned onto Sacramento Avenue.

5:40 p.m. 

The marchers have left the rally in front of Old City Hall and are heading West on Allston Way — toward Richmond — in the first stretch of their journey towards the Capitol.

5:10 p.m.

Marchers have reached the rally in front of Old City Hall. About 100 people are there now.

4:48 p.m. 

After a short rally at the UC Office of the President, the Occupy Oakland and Berkeley protesters returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza before dispersing. Berkeley protesters are on their way back to campus.

4:15 p.m.

The protesters have split into two groups. The first group has committed to marching to Sacramento, and Berkeley High School protesters have stated that they are waiting for the group to arrive at the high school before continuing on its way toward the Capitol. The other approximately 40-person group, after a cursory visit to Morgan Stanley offices in Downtown Oakland, has begun marching toward the UC Office of the President.

3:55 p.m.

About 200 Berkeley High School students remain at the rally in Berkeley.

The protesters that went to Oakland from UC Berkeley has left Frank Ogawa Plaza. A group is now surrounding the entrance to Morgan Stanley offices in downtown Oakland.

3:27 p.m.

The crowd at Frank Ogawa Plaza is dispersing as those who intend to march to Sacramento assemble.

3:20 p.m.

Berkeley High School students are rallying in front of Old City Hall in support of public education.

“Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” some chanted.

3:00 p.m.

Speakers at the plaza address the crowd on education and community medical training during protests.

2:50 p.m.

The protesters have arrived at the plaza chanting “Here comes Berkeley,” and are being welcomed by Occupy Oakland protesters.

Marchers from UC Berkeley arrive at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.

Most Occupy Cal protesters plan to return to campus after rallying at the plaza, though further actions for the evening will likely be decided at a general assembly meeting this evening, according to UC Berkeley graduate student Justin Chung.

2:31 p.m. 

The protesters are now only a few blocks away from their intended destination, Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. Protesters commonly refer to the plaza as Oscar Grant Plaza.

2:20 p.m.

After experiencing some confusion over the route to Oakland, the marchers are passing 34th Street and Telegraph Avenue on their way to meet with fellow protesters.

1:45 p.m.

The protesters have crossed the city line into Oakland, and are continuing to march down Telegraph Avenue. UC Berkeley graduate student Justin Chung said the rally has had a lower turnout than originally expected.

1:30 p.m.

The group has dwindled down to about 70 protesters and they have passed Telegraph and Stuart Street.

“I’m worried about the effect of cuts on my students and on future students,” said Herbert Docena, a graduate student instructor in sociology.

1:15 p.m.

Marchers chant “this is what democracy looks like” as they march down Telegraph Avenue toward Oakland. Traffic cones were set in place to divert traffic on Telegraph to Dwight Avenue. Around 100 people are marching.

Protestors march down Telegraph Avenue to Oakland.

1 p.m.

The rally has ended, and protesters are now preparing to march to Oakland.

Earlier, a speaker mentioned an Occupy-related party that is being formed for the upcoming ASUC election.

A man speaks to the crowd at the noon rally on Sproul Plaza.

12:25 p.m.

Josh Healey, a poet and Occupy Oakland protester, is reading a poem he wrote called “Superman,” which revolves around privatization of public education. He will be followed by Joshua Clover, a UC Davis English professor.

12:15 p.m.

The rally has begun with a statement of solidarity from the Occupy Stanford students.

“We vow from the bottom of our hearts to fight alongside you in the upcoming months, and we thank you for your hospitality,” one student said.

The noon rally on Sproul Plaza Thursday drew a variety of signs from student protesters.

12:13 p.m.

Around 10 students from Occupy Stanford have arrived on campus. The group plans on addressing the crowd at today’s rally, with a message of solidarity in the face of a greater movement.

11:45 a.m.

About 50 protesters on Sproul Plaza have assembled into groups, discussing how to reconcile differences and mediate conversation when confronted by others.

11:34 a.m.

Thirty to 40 students, a couple of them high school students, gathered next to the Cal Student Store to protest alleged racism in UC Berkeley’s admission process, while demanding that affirmative action is reinstituted. After two speeches by students, the crowd died down, and protesters are now planning and preparing for the noon rally on Sproul Plaza.

10:51 a.m.

Eight murals painted by high school students from Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland have been set up on Sproul, as protesters prepare for the noon rally and march. Andy Brodie, a parent of a UC Berkeley student, said the chances for local high school students of lower income to attend a UC are “closing up above them.”

“It’s grim, and they can see that,” he said.

10:22 a.m.

Protesters have mostly dispersed from outside of California Hall. Only a few protesters remain, holding caution tape.

Still, physics professor and chair of the campus division of the Academic Senate Bob Jacobsen said he wants “to applaud them for trying to address the issue” of budget cuts and rising tuition. He added that if he could find someone to teach his classes, he would have participated in the four-day march to Sacramento.

9:50 a.m.

The same group of protesters remains outside of California Hall, and no teach-outs are taking place on Sproul Plaza as of yet. For Bruce Miller, a financial planner who works inside California Hall, today’s events are not too out of the ordinary.

“It’s Berkeley,” he said. “There is always a protest.”

9:20 a.m.

About 20 demonstrators continue to gather outside of the building. Freshman Elena Kempf, who was walking by the protest, said the march to Sacramento scheduled for later this afternoon is “a good idea.”

“It targets the state as the cause,” she said.

8:58 a.m. 

Two campus police officers are monitoring California Hall from the outside while the number of protesters outside the building stays around 20. Protesters say they will participate in the scheduled noon rally on Sproul Plaza and subsequent march to Oakland.

8:45 a.m.

The March 1 protest at UC Santa Cruz also appears to be progressing, as the campus entrance is currently blocked from vehicular traffic, according to the campus website.

8:32 a.m.

Caution tape now extends around the entire California Hall building, and the front door has been locked from the inside. People who work in the building are now entering via the West entrance.

Caution tape was wrapped around the perimeter of California Hall Thursday morning at the beginning of the March 1 Day of Action.

“The only way we can change the direction that public education is going is to send a clear message to the politicians who have defunded education and the administrators who have mismanaged funds and mismanaged priorities,” said UC Berkeley junior Isaac Kreisman.

8:20 a.m.

The side of California Hall facing Doe Library now has crime tape around it, but people who work in the building are still entering it.

8:15 a.m. 

Around 20 demonstrators are currently outside of California Hall — the campus administrative building that houses Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s office — and are beginning to wrap crime tape around the building in the first protest action of the day.

“This is is supposed to be a public university, but the university has been privatizing it,” said UC Berkeley senior Honest Chung. “If we treat education as a commodity to be sold, that is not a foundation for democracy.”

7:30 a.m.
Protesters are scheduled to gather outside of California Hall to begin the protest.

Alisha Azevedo and J.D. Morris are the university news editors.

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  • Berkeley Resident

    Why was the timeline written in reverse chronological order… It would have been so much easier to read, and more interesting, in the order in which it was written. Silly.

  • libsrclowns

    Are they marching to Libville (SACTO legislature) or riding the bus? Or marching on the bus??

    LOL @ Libs

  • Guest

    Have questions or want to be heard in the UC Regent meetings? Follow the UC Student Regents at  @ucstudentregent:twitter 

  • Special Ed Jones

    “Thirty to 40 students, a couple of them high school students, gathered
    next to the Cal Student Store to protest alleged racism in UC Berkeley’s
    admission process, while demanding that affirmative action is
    re-instituted.”

    Hey, guess what?  The taxpayers spoke when they voted in favor of Prop 209.

    You students are funny. You love to preach all the time about “democracy in action” until the people vote against you. Then you whine and cry and call people “racist”.

    Do yourselves and everyone else a favor. Go back to school, and stop wasting your time.

    • Wawaweewa

      I would say that having a majority of Californians (at least among those who voted) cast their ballot against equality of opportunity in accessing higher education, is evidence both of the need for more public education (to understand why we have such unrepresentative admissions in the first place) and racism.

      • Special Ed Jones

         They voted to END racial preferences, which is the opposite of being racist.

        You really need to read “1984″. You’re completely brainwashed into believing up is down.

      • Guest

         You obviously don’t understand what equal opportunity is. There is nothing equal about minorities getting a preference over whites, in fact that sounds like racism to me. Its people like you that keep minorities from applying and getting into college. You fill their heads with lies about how society is keeping them down and that they don’t have a shot at getting into college. You teach them nothing about hard work and perseverance, instead you teach hatred of those who have succeeded.

        • GoldenBear

          ” You teach them nothing about hard work and perseverance, instead you teach hatred of those who have succeeded”

          Do you believe that minorities lack a strong work ethic?  Well, as a minority I can say that we shouldn’t generalize one way or another, but within my circle of family and friends, we’ve worked like dogs just to get by.   Aside from  the issue of work ethic there is another notion held by some regarding academics in which people overlook the fact that there is not much of an equal academic playing field between most “minorities” and most “whites”.  I’ll be the first to admit, life is not fair. But I also understand that despite making it to CAL the majority of people I knew did not make it to any university. In fact, applying to college or prepping oneself for college during k-12 was unknown to many of them (myself included).

          Some minorities endure rough daily neighborhood circumstances, which make it tough to get ahead. Having lived in South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Inglewood, Gardena and Hawthorne (down in Southern California), I can personally attest to that. In fact young students growing up in those areas and attending k-12 schools in low income areas are at a tremendous disadvantage to students in other economically privileged areas. I could compose a long list of experiences that affect students, but its kinda depressing even to recall. But, I’m glad my own children do not have to worry about gang bangers shooting both inside and outside the school.  Hard work can make the best thing out of bad situations, but something more is required. Here I am not advocating “affirmative action”, but some sort of charity driven efforts to inform young people living in such areas that there exists many options; show them what these options are and how to achieve them. 

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

             [Do you believe that minorities lack a strong work ethic?]

            Some of them do, others don’t – same as any other group. However, no racial/ethnic minority that exhibits the necessary combination of intellectual aptitude and applied effort is being denied “access” to a college education in this country. You and the rest of the lefties keep on making these accusations that qualified minorities are not going to college because the “system” is somehow “racist”. That in fact is a bunch of BS. Those who don’t make it are in that situation because they literally and figuratively don’t make the grade.

            [Some minorities endure rough daily neighborhood circumstances, which
            make it tough to get ahead. Having lived in South Central Los Angeles,
            Compton, Inglewood, Gardena and Hawthorne (down in Southern California),
            I can personally attest to that.]

            Funny, but there are some of us who are white, did not come from wealthy families, and attended minority schools in rough neighborhoods  (whites were less than 30% of the population at both my junior and senior high school), and those schools were in all honesty downright crappy, but we managed to survive. So did I somehow benefit from “institutionalized racism” even though the majority of my teachers were black and hispanic? Or perhaps even as a teenager who hated high school, I came from a background where enough emphasis was placed on education by my family and my cultural background so that I realized the importance of education from an early age?

          • GoldenBear

            Tony,  your comments are always entertaining and insightful, but I seriously doubt that you understood my post.  In fact, It seems that you are misconstruing my message in an effort to attack other people.  Never once did I write, imply, nor make the following conclusion : (i) racial/ethnic minorities that exhibit the necessary intellectual aptitude and applied effort are being “denied access” to college. 

            Such a view is not supported by any empirical evidence that I am aware of, so it is safe to point out that you are projecting onto my comment a strawman. 

            If we return to the bottom portion of my post, we will find the following idea :

            (Here I am not advocating “affirmative action”, but some sort of charity
            driven efforts to inform young people living in such areas that there
            exists many options; show them what these options are and how to achieve
            them.)

            As you can see, I am not advocating affirmative action; in fact, I am advocating a charity driven effort.  In order to avoid any further ambiguity, I’ll define the concept as I imagined it applied to the particular topic at hand.  Basically, a charity driven effort as I conceptualized it consists of a group of people willing to provide some of their time and personal income to a particular cause.  Here I will mention that I do not believe that the government, tax dollars, or any public funds are needed, rather it is an effort carried out by like-minded people.  Now, if in your eyes this translates to government sponsored affirmative action and makes me a lefty then we will just agree to disagree. 

            (Funny, but there are some of us who are white, did not come from wealthy
            families, and attended minority schools in rough neighborhoods  (whites
            were less than 30% of the population at both my junior and senior high
            school), and those schools were in all honesty downright crappy, but we
            managed to survive.)

            Surely, if you refer back to my message the first line reads,”within my circle of family and friends, we’ve worked like dogs just to get by.”, which shows that we have much in common, but what it doesn’t display  is that minorities don’t survive.  In fact in response to the previous poster’s assertion that minorities lacked work ethic, I came to the same conclusion as yourself, it was just expressed differently, that is, we shouldn’t generalize, some do and some don’t.

            (So did I somehow benefit from “institutionalized
            racism” even though the majority of my teachers were black and hispanic?
            Or perhaps even as a teenager who hated high school, I came from a
            background where enough emphasis was placed on education by my family
            and my cultural background so that I realized the importance of
            education from an early age?)

            I wouldn’t say you benefited, but as you mentioned you came from a household that possesses the cultural background to successfully navigate through the academy.  Now, do other minorities possess such insight? Some do and some don’t.  To negate that the lack of no how is not a product of past injustices is incompetent. But this is why I simply advocated a charity driven effort, which means if you don’t agree then don’t participate. 

            (For the record, I hope my comment resolves any doubts you may have had, but I surely hope that in the future prior assuming then projecting onto me such a filthy expletive as “lefty” you will think twice)

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

         [ would say that having a majority of Californians (at least among those
        who voted) cast their ballot against equality of opportunity]

        What’s so “equal opportunity” about a system where people are held to different academic and performance standards based on their skin color or ethnicity?

        • libsrclowns

          In Libdom, equal means you give preference to non whites.

          Silly Peeps

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

    This type of silliness is one of the reasons most people in this country roll their eyes and laugh at the mention of “Berkeley”…

    • Guest

       The same could be said about anything, anywhere.