Occupy Cal returns for the spring semester

Occupy Cal is back.

On Tuesday evening, demonstrators held a general assembly meeting on the steps of Sproul Hall to discuss how to rally support for the movement, which garnered national attention during the fall semester.

About 20 participants attended the meeting, which lasted almost two hours and revolved around planning Occupy Cal and Open University actions during the first week of spring semester classes and deciding how to publicize the movement to increase its momentum.

UC Berkeley sophomore Elana Eden said a general assembly meeting held Monday also involved some preliminary planning for the movement heading into the new semester.

The Tuesday meeting attendees discussed facilitating a general assembly meeting Jan. 17 to reintroduce the movement and seek support for a Jan. 19 rally, which could occur in solidarity with protests at UC Riverside during the UC Board of Regents meeting. Suggestions for how to name the rally ranged from “We’re still here” to titles focusing on the spring season, such as “Spring into action.”

Campus administrative assistant and alumnus Juan Garcia said the first week of classes “is the best time to grab people” and increase involvement by strengthening the group’s committees, which serve functions such as providing food and artwork to support protesters.

Meeting participants also discussed new developments that will affect the protest movement, including a financial aid plan for middle income families rolled out by campus administrators Dec. 14.

Senior Zack Aslanian-Williams said the Occupy Cal movement will also face pressure to relate its actions to the national presidential election this year.

“There is this divide between what the Democrats are about and what people really need,” he said.

The Occupy Cal protesters will continue to meet in the coming days to further plan logistics for actions during the first week of classes, including scheduling speakers for the Jan. 19 rally and publicizing the events.

Alisha Azevedo is the assistant university news editor.