Occupy Cal protesters plan outreach for Tuesday strike

Benny Grush/Staff
Protesters held teach-ins and spoke in groups on Sproul Plaza on Thursday morning.

Around 100 Occupy Cal protesters met on the steps of Sproul Hall Thursday morning to debrief Wednesday’s Day of Action and make plans to spread the word about next Tuesday’s strike.

At around 10:45 a.m., speakers came together for a “mic check” to share their experiences from throughout the day on Wednesday, with many speaking out against UCPD’s actions toward student protesters.

When protesters convened in a general assembly to establish the Occupy Cal encampment Wednesday afternoon, UCPD responded by confiscating tents and maintaining a barricade to prevent protesters from entering Sproul. After issuing a dispersal order around 3:30 p.m., police used batons against protesters who began moving into their barricade, resulting in seven arrests as well as injuries to protesters’ arms, heads and stomachs.

At least 39 protesters were arrested throughout the day, according to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao. Seven were arrested earlier in the day and 32 were arrested during the second round of clashes between police and protesters later in the night. Twenty-six of those arrested at night were UC Berkeley students, according to UCPD’s crime logs.

One speaker at the debriefing Thursday morning called the police actions “embarrassing and ridiculous, if not outright evil,” while many others emphasized the need for Occupy Cal to continue protesting peacefully.

“When the police tried to reach the tents, we linked arms,” said one speaker leading a mic check. “No one hit any police. The police hit students. The police were violent. Students were nonviolent … we are the ones who are for nonviolence.”

At around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Occupy Cal participants voted to strike — theoretically in solidarity with demonstrators across the UC system — next Tuesday. The vote passed by a count of 569 yeses, 31 noes and 29 abstentions. General assembly meetings are to occur every day in Sproul Plaza at 6 p.m. to plan for the strike.

Following the debriefing Thursday morning, speakers organized outreach committees — one to to go to classes in session to make “quick and polite” announcements about the strike, one to spread the word through social media and two to pass out fliers in classes and on campus.

Several speakers said that Thursday is the main day to get the word out  to classes that meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays about the strike and to encourage professors to cancel classes next Tuesday.

Stephanie Baer is the city news editor.