Tents set up on Sproul in response to Cornel West discussion

Occupy Cal demonstrators set up three tents on Upper Sproul Plaza Friday evening in an impromptu act to gather public attention as over 1,000 people lined up to hear American intellectual Cornel West speak in Pauley Ballroom.

Although the action of setting up the tents was not formally approved by the occupation’s general assembly, assembly members present did not object to it, according to Christopher Luk, an Oakland resident who set up a tent.

West spoke with Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA , in a campus event titled “In the Age of Obama … Police Terror, Incarceration, No Jobs, Mis-education: What Future for our Youth?”

“We got a line, we got an audience,” Luk said.

Police officers forced a previous Occupy Cal encampment to clear from the plaza Nov. 17. Though Occupy Cal general assemblies have continued since then, tents have not been set up, aside from a brief establishment at a Nov. 21 sleep-out on the plaza.

Luk said he was not worried about potential police presence, but said it was probable that officers could arrive later in the evening.

“If the cops come to take (the tents) down that would be better, because then (the people) in line would see how they treat us,” Luk said. “If they roust, they roust.”

UC Berkeley senior Alex Kim — who took a vow of silence and briefly set up a tent for himself and his cat on Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s lawn Nov. 24 — wrote in a note that police officers do not have an excuse to remove the protesters during the weekend, when classes do not occur.

The tents will continue on a day by day, individual basis, according to Luk.