News

Protesters vote to set up Occupy Cal camp at UC Berkeley

Protestors met for a general assembly at around 1:45 pm today at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus. Photos: Tracey Taylor

Update, 7:52pm: Video footage of police beating protesters at today’s Occupy Cal demonstrations has emerged. The following video was uploaded to YouTube by Miles Mathews [Hat-tip: Bruce Love]:

Update, 4:36 pm: Protesters have been attempting to set up tents and clashing with police at the Cal Occupy demonstrations on campus, according to various media reports. UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore confirmed to the Daily Californian that there have been six arrests over the course of the day. UCPD have issued dispersal notices and have been taking down tents erected by protesters. Shortly after 4:00 pm, protesters were attempting to convene another general assembly.

This afternoon, Berkeley councilmember Kriss Worthington sent a letter to the UC Chancellor and the UCPD Chief complaining of what he says appears to be the suppression of free speech by the UCPD.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau and Chief Celaya,

I wanted to bring to your attention that banners with Free Speech content appear to have been seized by UCPD in front of Sproul Plaza. The banner was not attached to any tent so should not be in any questionable legal territory as validly permitted. It is hard to imagine that such an act could occur at the exact location of Berkeley where the Free Speech Movement began.

I respectfully request that you promptly inform your officers to STOP seizing banners that are legitimately in the hands of students and protesters. I also request that you return the banners that were inappropriately seized. You can imagine that the sense of irony will not be lost on the public, that the UCPD violated the Free Speech rights of protesters at this particular location.

I understand that there are lot of people at the Occupy Cal event and that such an event can cause a lot of stress on you and officers. Nonetheless, in the United States and in Berkeley, we have clearly established parameters that allow posters and Free Speech banners. We request your prompt attention to this negative blotch on the UCPD on the very first day of Occupy Cal.

These students have made a firm commitment to no violence and no vandalism . The University should be commending the thousands of students that are participating. For many, this could be their very first political protest of their life. They are protesting specifically for additional financing for the University of California. The University should support this enthusiasm and help encourage this to be an effective protest that helps the University and our country.

It is unfortunate and unacceptable that the UCPD are vandalizing and removing free speech banners from the event. Please stop this behavior now.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important issue.

Sincerely Kriss W.

…………………………….

At a general assembly held this afternoon at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus, several hundred protesters voted to establish an “Occupy Cal” encampment, starting today, both to show allegiance to the Occupy Wall Street movement and to demonstrate against public education budget cuts and tuition hikes.

The Occupy Cal day of action began with teach-outs beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, and was followed by a rally at noon on Sproul Plaza, then the general assembly.

At around 1:20 pm a group of protesters marched off campus and down Telegraph Avenue and attempted to put caution tape around the Bank of America building at 2347 Telegraph, according to the Daily Californian, which has been live-blogging and tweeting the events throughout the day. Crowds were heard chanting, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.”

UC Berkeley administrators have said they will not tolerate an Occupy Cal encampment in the style of Occupy Oakland

Protesters will discuss plans for what they said would be a peaceful encampment — including potential locations and prevention of fire hazards — later today.

Campus administration has made it clear it will not tolerate an encampment in the style of Occupy Oakland, and the UCPD has said that it will take “appropriate actions” to enforce campus policy, according to the Daily Cal. Follow the Daily Californian on Twitter and through its live blog for developing news.

Related:
A mom goes to Occupy Oakland with her 7-year-old twins [11.08.11]
Occupy Berkeley consolidates camp, supports Oakland [11.02.11]
BPD lent support to OPD at Occupy Oakland demonstration [10.26.11]
All quiet at Occupy Berkeley camp at MLK Park [10.26.11]
Berkeley joins 900 cities to condemn corporate greed [10.16.11]

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , , , ,
  • Charles_Siegel

    Go to 0:50 or so, and you will see two police officers beating a student who had fallen down and who was no longer part of the crowd who was blacking the police from removing the tents.  That is simply gratuitous brutality.

    Those two are acting unprofessionally and there should be a thorough investigation of their conduct.  You can see their numbers clearly on their helmets in the video. 

  • Anonymous

    guest: This may surprise you, but not everyone who breaks the law gets arrested. Our law enforcement system is based on police discretion and our court system depends on it.

    To me, the law is based on the concept of harm, so the police should enforce the most harmful crimes more than the least harmful crimes. How much harm could all these cops on OT have prevented if they had been deployed in a high-crime neighborhood, where murders and assaults are common? Meanwhile, they are busy beating college students with night-sticks over a few people pitching tents next to Sproul Hall.

  • Bruce Love

    So, if I understand you correctly, you would agree with statements like:

    “Part of the job of the police is to administer violence as a form of punishment.  They just have to be careful that those they hurt deserve it.”

    “The police should beat Critical Mass bike riders if that’s what it takes to get them off the streets.”

    “If a homecoming celebration crowd spills into the streets and does not immediately disperse when ordered to, the police should begin beating people.”

    “When all those people shut down the Port of Oakland on November 2, the police erred by not forcibly removing them.”

  • Guest

    So your ideal society is one that’s ruled by force? Better hope the laws never shift to something YOU disagree with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/photostu Stuart Allen

    If you are caught speeding, would you think a night stick beating was an appropriate response?

  • Bruce Love

    Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t the police rank and file’s way of generating support for Occupy.  I mean, the massive turnout on Nov 2 wouldn’t have been possible without them.

    Interesting night last night ending with a nascent and shaky looking occupy at Cal and in Harvard yard.

  • Dictionary

    .shd_hdr1 { width: 100%; }.sep_top1 { position: relative; }.citesourceseperator { border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 7px; }.sep_top1 table { margin-top: -2px; margin-bottom: -5px; }.results_content ul, .results_content ol { margin-bottom: -3px; }.LImg { background-image: url(“http://sp.dictionary.com/en/i/dictionary/AddThis_v2/sprite_icons.png”); }.Lsentnce { margin-top: 14px; }.moredef { display: none; }.moreun { display: none; }.moresent { display: none; padding-left: 3px; }a.more, a.more:hover, a.less, a.less:hover { font: 10px arial; height: 18px; padding-left: 26px; color: rgb(64, 137, 224); cursor: pointer; display: block; padding-top: 5px; text-decoration: none; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 5px; }
    .luna-Ent a.slA:link, .luna-Ent .slANC > a, .lunatext .slD a, .lunatext .spl_unshd a { text-decoration: none; }.lunatext .slT b { color: rgb(64, 137, 224); }.slD a, .slD a:hover, .slD:visited { color: rgb(64, 64, 64); }.spl_unshd { padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 7px; }.spl_unshd_NC { padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 7px; }.slT { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 15px; color: rgb(64, 137, 224); text-decoration: underline; line-height: 16px; font-weight: normal; }.slD { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 13px; color: rgb(64, 64, 64); line-height: 16px; }.slB { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 14px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); padding-bottom: 4px; display: block; line-height: 16px; }.slL { color: rgb(102, 102, 102); cursor: default; float: right; font-family: arial; font-size: 9px; margin-top: -18px; line-height: 17px; }.spl_unshd { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); padding-top: 2px; padding-bottom: 3px; position: static; }.slA { padding: 2px 0px 0px; line-height: 16px; }.spl_unshd_NC { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); margin-bottom: 0px; cursor: default; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 3px; padding-top: 3px; }.slANC { margin-top: 1px; margin-bottom: 1px; padding-bottom: 3px; padding-top: 3px; line-height: 0px; }.slBNC { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 14px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 16px; }
    fas·cist
     /ˈfæʃɪst/ Show Spelled[fash-ist] Show IPA noun 1.a person who believes in or sympathizes with fascism.
    2.(often initial capital letter) a member of a fascist movement or party.
    3.a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.
    #mid1 { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); padding-bottom: 8px; padding-top: 8px; }

    adjective 4.Also, fa·scis·tic  /fəˈʃɪstɪk/ Show Spelled[fuh-shis-tik] Show IPA. of or like fascism or fascists.

    .shd_hdr1 { width: 100%; }.sep_top1 { position: relative; }.citesourceseperator { border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 7px; }.sep_top1 table { margin-top: -2px; margin-bottom: -5px; }.results_content ul, .results_content ol { margin-bottom: -3px; }.LImg { background-image: url(“http://sp.dictionary.com/en/i/dictionary/AddThis_v2/sprite_icons.png”); }.Lsentnce { margin-top: 14px; }.moredef { display: none; }.moreun { display: none; }.moresent { display: none; padding-left: 3px; }a.more, a.more:hover, a.less, a.less:hover { font: 10px arial; height: 18px; padding-left: 26px; color: rgb(64, 137, 224); cursor: pointer; display: block; padding-top: 5px; text-decoration: none; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 5px; }
    .luna-Ent a.slA:link, .luna-Ent .slANC > a, .lunatext .slD a, .lunatext .spl_unshd a { text-decoration: none; }.lunatext .slT b { color: rgb(64, 137, 224); }.slD a, .slD a:hover, .slD:visited { color: rgb(64, 64, 64); }.spl_unshd { padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 7px; }.spl_unshd_NC { padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 7px; }.slT { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 15px; color: rgb(64, 137, 224); text-decoration: underline; line-height: 16px; font-weight: normal; }.slD { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 13px; color: rgb(64, 64, 64); line-height: 16px; }.slB { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 14px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); padding-bottom: 4px; display: block; line-height: 16px; }.slL { color: rgb(102, 102, 102); cursor: default; float: right; font-family: arial; font-size: 9px; margin-top: -18px; line-height: 17px; }.spl_unshd { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); padding-top: 2px; padding-bottom: 3px; position: static; }.slA { padding: 2px 0px 0px; line-height: 16px; }.spl_unshd_NC { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); margin-bottom: 0px; cursor: default; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 3px; padding-top: 3px; }.slANC { margin-top: 1px; margin-bottom: 1px; padding-bottom: 3px; padding-top: 3px; line-height: 0px; }.slBNC { font-family: “Verdana”; font-size: 14px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 16px; }
    fas·cism
     /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ Show Spelled[fash-iz-uhm] Show IPA noun 1.(sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.2.(sometimes initial capital letter) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.3.(initial capital letter) a fascist movement, especially the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43.

    #mid1 { border-top: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(228, 228, 228); padding-bottom: 8px; padding-top: 8px; }

    Origin: 1915–20; < Italian fascismo, equivalent to fasc(io) bundle, political group (see fasces) + -ismo -ismRelated formsan·ti·fas·cism, noun pro·fas·cism, noun
     

  • guest2

    Who is the encampment hurting?

  • Guest

    if someone was caught speeding and resisted arrest and refused to stop speeding or comply with officers, then yes a beating would be justified

  • Guest

    how many murders happened in berkeley last night?

  • GPO

    Charles, as you no doubt know, the police officers unions have ensured that the process for adjudicating police force misconduct allegations are very heavily skewed towards the rights of the police and not the victims of their sometimes wanton and power tripping brutality.  Very few police officers, except in the most highly charged and publicized cases, ever end up facing any meaningful sanctions for acts of brutality or other misconduct (which are quite common in some police precincts/jurisdictions), other than perhaps a paid leave of absence during the investigatory period which is effectively more paid vacation.
    .

  • Anonymous

    Speeding puts other people in danger. Pitching a tent next to Sproul Hall does not.

  • Anonymous

    the reason UCB police are not about to let them set up an encampment is because they are not about to let it get out of hand like it did with the idiot tree sitters…look how hard and a waste of resources that was and look what the outcome was, the trees are gone and the stadium is being repaired what a waste of time and money!
    same thing here,nothing good will come out of this. we need to hold our elected officials to higher standards and vote them out immediately when they don’t stand by their promises’ instead of looking the other way like we do with mayor bates and the city council, we also need to speak with our dollars not just when it’s convenient or when its popular. 

  • My Opinion

    Oakland is dealing with that now. Nip it in the bud or it may go on forever. Not saying I agree one way or another, just commenting on the approach.

    If I were a student I would work hard for change, and working hard means studying hard right now so that I could get work later on in an area where I could make a difference in ways that support my values. I would not be sitting in a tent (unless it was in Yosemite).

    I remember how I saw the world in college. I had a lot to learn after that, and I don’t mean books.

  • Anonymous

    Is there any indication that student protestors arent working hard? Its after 6pm, and living in a tent on campus would put you close to your studies….

  • Notcool

    -1

  • http://chicagoscooterclub.com Chicago_SC

    I got 5 bucks that says; that guy with the yellow bandana around his head picks his nose, then eats it.

  • SelectiveMemory

    USS Liberty.  Never forgive.  Never forget.

  • Roger

    all I can say is that I’d rather be pushed back rather than cracked over the head by one of those batons.

  • Tom

    guess you didn’t watch the video …

  • Fortheagez

    if peaceful protestors get treated with violent force, then what do violent protestors get treated with?

  • craig list

    The only real crime is the cops didn’t continue.  Save civilization, beat a hippie into a coma.