The Occupy Cal Day of Action is under way on the UC Berkeley campus with a noon rally in progress at the time of writing, and news helicopters aloft to cover the action. According to the BPD, an estimated 1,500 people were gathered at Sproul Plaza at midday.
This morning, hundreds of students were sprawled around the Plaza, carrying signs, hanging out and listening to teach-ins by various faculty members. The mood was festive as they waited for the noon rally to begin.
Many had brought furniture and rugs, as well as a couple of pianos and bookcases to make the protest space like “an outdoor room”. There was no evidence of tents, despite rumors that some demonstrators might try to set up an encampment on campus.
UC Berkeley linguistics professor George Lakoff was talking about the impact of Prop 13 at one of the teach-ins, while other subjects under discussion included the Chilean political system and corporate control of the food system.
Isabel Bukovnik, a Cal sophomore studying integrative biology, said she planned to spend several hours today at Sproul Plaza. “The system that is in place is skewed toward the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. That’s invading public education,” she said.
Demonstrations will take place throughout the day. Occupy Oakland participants, many of whom were evicted from their tent city in downtown Oakland early Monday, are expected to march to the Cal campus starting at 2:30pm. And a general assembly, planned for 5:00pm, will include a vote on whether to build an encampment.
UC Berkeley professor of public policy and former U.S. secretary of labor Robert Reich will deliver the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture on Sproul Plaza at 8 p.m.
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