Occupy protesters set up tents on Sproul Plaza

Dylan White/Staff
Protestors restart the occupation of Sproul with several tents, banners and signs.

Occupy Cal protesters set up six tents on the steps of Sproul Hall Thursday, marking the three month anniversary of the controversial Nov. 9 campus protest.

As of about 9 p.m., five tents remained in front of the hall. Demonstrators said they intended to stay overnight, but that a dispersal order from UCPD would prompt either a vote to brave police intervention or to leave the choice up to individual protesters.

About 25 individuals were present when the tents were originally erected at around 1:15 p.m.

Shortly after the tents went up, two UCPD officers requested they be removed, but protesters said they were not in violation of campus policy because no one was occupying the tents.

As a general assembly was underway at about 6:15 p.m., Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard and two police officers arrived but were asked by organizers to leave.

Poullard returned about two hours later with four officers and addressed the protesters gathered on the steps  in front of the hall. He told the demonstrators that they were not authorized to camp on university property.

Poullard told the protesters that those who remained in continued violation of campus policy may be subject “to disciplinary action under the university code of conduct, or arrest,” and that protesters should obtain permission from the appropriate administrators.

At the assembly, two proposals were presented and voted on, one of which was to demand that the officer involved in the controversial Nov. 18 pepper spray incident at UC Davis be arrested for aggravated assault.

“Every police officer will think twice before using that pepper spray or swinging that baton because one of their own is behind bars,” said Berkeley resident Ergoat Oneiric.

While many in attendance favored the proposal, others, such as graduate student Alex Barnard, expressed concerns.

“We’re at a moment when we’re getting people’s attention again, “ Barnard said. “I think we should be refocusing on the message that made up this movement in the first place.”

The proposal did not pass, but a motion to establish a regular noon general assembly solely for discussion did.

As of about 9 p.m., about 25 protesters remained on the steps and a dispersal order had not been given.

Staff writer Afsana Afzal contributed to this report.