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Demonstration on Sproul Plaza ends with shouts of protest

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Opponents of the Berkeley College Republicans' Increase Diversity bake sale stand on Upper Sproul Plaza.


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Founder and Editor, The Weekender

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011

While water bottles and sunscreen were in ample supply for demonstrators lying in protest on Sproul Plaza, due to heat, the event came to an end an hour earlier than planned. The demonstrators stood up together at 1 p.m., huddled around demonstration leader Salih Muhammad in the middle of Sproul Plaza and engaged in a call and response with Muhammad, repeating the slogans he yelled.

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love and protect each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains!” the protesters  shouted in unison.

Although the demonstration attracted a number of viewers, it did not elicit much response from the Berkeley College Republicans or their supporters.

“I hope it’s comfortable for them,” said Ward Connerly, a former UC Regent and main proponent of Proposition 209, who sat at the Republican bake sale table, in response to the demonstration.

The demonstrators will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. in 242 Cesar Chavez Student Center.

At around 1:30 p.m. Yvette Felarca, the national organizer for BAMN, invited the campus Republicans to debate affirmative action. She said BAMN would argue the “criminality” of the Republicans group’s ideology.

Andy Nevis, the executive director of the campus Republicans’ group, said he did not know about the debate beforehand, but he would be open to it.

Students dressed in black were lying down on Upper Sproul Plaza to oppose the Increase Diversity Bake Sale.

Shawn Lewis, president of the campus Republicans’ group, said he is excited about the possibility for debate. But he also added a note of caution.

“I don’t want debate that will foster divisions between racial groups,” he said.

At around 2:30 p.m. the campus Republicans disassembled their bake sale table and left Sproul Plaza.

Corrections: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the demonstrators chanted "We have nothing to lose but our shame." In fact, the demonstrators chanted "We have nothing to lose but our chains."

Contact Curan Mehra at  or on Twitter


SEPTEMBER 28, 2011