General Assembly establishes encampment on Sproul steps

Tony Zhou/Staff

After marching back from covering the Bank of America on Telegraph Avenue with caution tape, protesters held a general assembly that started at about 1:30 p.m.

Upon arriving on the steps in front of Sproul Hall, protesters voted to establish an encampment on the UC Berkeley campus.

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About 500 protesters sat on the steps as several of the protest’s main organizers read two proposals to the general assembly. Organizers said at the meeting that Sproul Hall was an appropriate site for an encampment because of its previous history as a site of protest.

Organizers read the statement to the crowd of several hundred on the steps and then opened the floor for discussion.

The first proposal called to endorse the Nov. 16 protest at the UC Board of Regents meeting at UC San Francisco. The second proposal called for the establishment of an encampment on the UC Berkeley campus.

“We establish our encampment in order to reserve the privatization of and cuts to all levels of education, and to help the university become what it always should have been; open and free to all,” read the statement.

After reading the statement, organizers asked the crowd to disperse into groups of five to 10 in order to discuss the proposals. They also said that members of the crowd would be able to present amendments and suggestions.

Suggestions included voting to immediately approve the proposals and creating the encampment on Lower Sproul Plaza instead of on Sproul steps and the grass surrounding the plaza. Another proposal was put forth by a man named Mark Creek-Water D’Orazio who said he was a founder of Occupy Oakland. His proposal was that “we will not consume alcohol at this encampment.”

The crowd voted shortly after to create an encampment and establish Occupy Cal. There were 12 abstentions, one “no” and 456 “yes” votes.

According to the proposal, daily general assemblies will be held every day at 6 p.m. to pass agreements.