Protests planned for Thursday hope to rekindle Occupy Cal spirit

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Thursday, protesters will attempt to rekindle the spirit generated by the Occupy Cal movement on campus last fall with a new set of demonstrations.

Set to coincide with the third day of the  UC Board of Regents  meeting and the day campus professor Robert Reich spoke to thousands on Sproul Plaza on Nov. 15 last year, demonstrations are planned both on campus and at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, where the regents are set to meet.

The protests will begin Wednesday afternoon with an encampment set up on the UCSF campus in Koret Quad, where protesters plan to sleep overnight. Following the encampment, the protesters at UCSF plan to picket Thursday morning and protest throughout the regents meeting.

Elizabeth Fernandez, a spokesperson for UCSF, said the campus is not planning to stop protesters from camping out overnight, but the campus’s police department will be present to monitor activity.

Meanwhile, a corresponding protest is planned for the UC Berkeley campus beginning at noon and continuing into an overnight encampment on Sproul Plaza. The protests on campus will feature several activities throughout the day, including a general assembly and an open university teach-out.

During a general assembly meeting held last Thursday, protesters laid out several demands they plan to address during the protests at the regents meeting. The demands include democratizing the UC Regents by having positions elected rather than appointed, increasing minority enrollment in the UC system through affirmative action programs and stopping forms of privatization across the system.

Benjamin Lynch, a member of BAMN, said his group is calling for increasing underrepresented minority student enrollment in the UC system, saving UCLA’s National Dream University — which was recently halted due to a lack of necessary approval by UCLA leadership — and no new tuition and fee hikes for professional programs.

“The passage of Prop. 30 was a huge success, but it is absolutely scandalous that just a week later the UC Regents are discussing fee hikes,” Lynch said.The regents were originally set to discuss increasing fees for various professional programs but ended up tabling the item before Wednesday’s meeting per the request of Gov. Jerry Brown.

A topic that will be brought up during the protests on campus is allegations of police brutality from last year’s Nov. 9 Occupy Cal demonstration, when police used batons on protesters while trying to remove tents set up on Sproul Plaza.

Contact Pooja Mhatre at [email protected].