At Occupy Cal: Let books take the place of banned tents

The police may have forcibly evicted slumberers and their tents set up Wednesday night by Occupy Cal protesters on campus, but never let it be said that Berkeley students aren’t creative. Replacing the tents we have — fittingly enough for a storied institution of learning — books, or rather books made to look like tents. Symbolic perhaps, but making a point nonetheless. Thanks to Arturo Snuze for the photograph which was taken after today’s pre-dawn eviction.

UC Berkeley dismantle tenet city on steps of Sproul Hall [11.17.11]
After night of camping, weary Occupy Cal protesters settle in [11.16.11]
Cal students vote to set up Occupy camp on campus [11.15.11]
Rally begins after teach-ins at Occupy Cal Day of Action [11.15.11]
After Oakland eviction, focus shifts to UC Berkeley [11.14.11]

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  • Bryan Garcia

    I like it, but rain is expected tomorrow, so I hope someone takes the books away before they all get ruined.

  • A Ess Bee

    I love that!  Go Berkeley!

  • What an awful way to treat books.

  • Wait until it rains.  This will become a de facto protest of printing presses and libraries.

  • Julie Twichell

    Great symbol. Knowledge is power. Go UC Berkeley students!

  • education is a right.

    using books as symbols to fight for wide-spread accessibility to education is a great way to treat books. books are made to be read. they won’t be read when people don’t have access to the knowledge exclusive to institutions of higher education like Berkeley.

  • Treating books in a destructive manner shows a disrespect for the knowledge they contain.

    When you say “knowledge exclusive to institutions of higher education like Berkeley” what, specifically, are you referring to? Can you make a list for me? I’d love to see it.

  • Lorimakesquilts

    Very effective symbology.  I hardly think this is mistreatment of books.  They aren’t getting any more wear than they would get by being read.  Books are powerful and important tools, and should be respected as such, but individual books are not sacred.  These books are simply being used in an untraditional  and eloquent manner.

  • Do you normally dump books on the ground in a spine-splitting position and leave them out to the elements when you’re reading them?

    If that’s really the way you treat books when you read them, the Berkeley Public Library should probably revoke your library card.

  • Exclusivewalker

    If your only problem with the protest is the cost of the medium, then rally your troops and fight against this monstrosity!

  • Lorimakesquilts

    Actually I have and do regularly leave my books on my front porch, out in the elements.  And yes I’m guilty of laying them open like that to mark my place.  They’re my books, I can do what I like with them.  I don’t treat other people’s books that way, they’re not mine and I respect the owners’ property.  So what I do with my books is of no concern to the public library.

    I don’t see how anyone can infer from one photo that anything but normal wear and tear is happening to those books.  In fact, it looks to me as if they have been deliberately placed so as to minimize damaging the spine.

    And all of this discussion really misses the entire point of this remarkable response to the violence the teachers and students have endured.

  • Katherinecricket

    There’s so many people in the world who can’t afford even one book. And here we are ruining them to make some kind of vague political statement.

  • kamikaze

    have any of you guys criticizing this gone to berkeley to see the supposed destruction of books? guess what, they werent left out there all day you know.

  • The Sharkey Needs New Hobbies

    This is a prime example of The Sharkey really trying to find something to get upset about.

    This picture merits a response along the lines of, “Hey, that’s creative and kind if cool.” Or maybe nothing at all if you don’t feel that way. I’m always surprised by what people can fight over when they’re just spoiling for a petty argument about something.

  • RedHotBoaltie

    Vague? I’m pretty sure that the political statement is that students want to stand up for prioritizing spending on education. As they were evicted the books are standing in their place, looking provocatively like the tents they are not allowed to have. It’s not a particularly murky message– quite simple and clever, really.

  • Using a disposable troll account to tell people to get hobbies and that they don’t have the right to voice their opinions if they’re not the same as yours? How 1998 of you.

  • Leaving a bunch of books on the floor isn’t especially remarkable.

  •  Wow, students stand for their own self interests? How surprising.

  • Bill

    Sometimes people get more than a little irrational on this pages.  Thank you kamikaze for your note>

  • Lorimakesquilts

    and yet, here we are remarking on them …

  • I’m really curious as to what books were made into tents. 

  • Tinyhoopla

    stop being a dick Sharkey. and just accept this as a creative symbolism for protest. Yes, its at the cost and some minimal wear of books, but you’re obviously missing the greater intention and purpose for the way they are being presented.

  • Cahzriel

    I’m curious too. I hope it’s stuff like, “1984,” “Brave New World,” and “Fahrenheit 451.”

  • Mikhael

    Spent Thanksgiving weekend slashing all four sides of Sproul Hall with copious amounts of holy water. Hope this will keep things nonviolent.

  • Deadpoetlive

    Abusing books like this just shows that the people doing it can understand what they read unlike those that read the bible and then send men overseas to blow up brown people…… that’s book abuse!