Category Archives: UC Berkeley

Anonymous artist collective claims responsibility for lynching effigies erected at UC Berkeley

Pastor Michael McBride tweeted this photo of a cut out of Laura Nelson out on Twitter.
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An anonymous artists’ collective posted notices at UC Berkeley on Sunday announcing it had placed three effigies in nooses at Cal — and a number of others around Oakland.

The group created the life-size cardboard cutouts of people who had been lynched to draw parallels between the past and modern day society, according to a statement.

See Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

“These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness,” they wrote. “We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union leads peaceful protest march from campus to Oakland

12.13 protest photo laurie kahn
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Despite being shaken by the appearance of effigies hanging from nooses on campus Saturday morning, UC Berkeley Black Student Union (BSU) leaders said they didn’t want that incident to affect their planned march against police killings of black people. Approximately 300 protesters met at Sproul Plaza at noon and, over the course of nearly three hours, marched to downtown Oakland to join forces with the larger “Millions March” demonstration that had gathered there.

Read more of Berkeleyside’s Berkeley protest coverage.

The march was calm, with the crowd following orders and cues from the BSU organizers in the front. Led by a car, the protesters walked up Bancroft Way to College Avenue, headed south, paused for about 20 minutes to occupy the intersection of College and Ashby avenues, and eventually continued onto Broadway. Police instructed the car to turn off College before entering Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Community responds to noose effigies found at Cal

This effigy was one of three authorities say was hung at the UC Berkeley campus Saturday morning. Photo: Cal Black Student Union
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5 p.m. An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.

The statement from the collective:

“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group distributed. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”

See past Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.” … Continue reading »

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Black Lives Matter protest by hundreds of Berkeley High students ‘shows how it’s done’

Berkeley High students stage a 'die-in" observing a 4.5 minute silence at the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus on Dec. 10, 2014. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Until yesterday, UC Berkeley junior Franchesca Cavagnaro had never been to a protest. While walking on the Cal campus Wednesday afternoon, she came across a crowd, many hundreds-strong, of demonstrators gathered on the steps of Sproul Hall. She liked what she saw and knew she wanted to be part of it. She joined the group as they marched to the Campanile.

Despite the location, the protesters were not Cal students. They were all Berkeley High students who, as part of an event, carefully organized by the school’s Black Student Union, had walked off their downtown campus at 2:30 p.m., skipping the last class of the day, in order to make their voices heard in the uproar over the recent police-related deaths of young black men. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Cal students, supporters hold ‘black lives matter’ rally

A photograph from Thursday's "black lives matter" rally at UC Berkeley. Photo: Genesis
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A large group of black UC Berkeley students and their supporters are holding a rally on campus now, Thursday afternoon, in response to the recent Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury verdict regarding the fatal shooting by a police officer of Michael Brown.

They have occupied the Golden Bear Cafe at UC Berkeley since noon, with plans to be there for 4½ hours — the length of time they say Brown’s body remained in the street after he was killed. (The cafe is closed during the rally.) A speaker at 2:10 p.m. said police are not interfering with the activities.

Some attendees wore sweatshirts promoting the message “black power.” Others held signs saying “We can’t breathe,” in reference to the death in July of Eric Garner in New York City during his detention by police. This week, a Staten Island grand jury said it would not indict the officer who put Garner in the chokehold that led to his death.

A live-streaming video of the rally — organized by the UC Berkeley Black Student Union — is posted online, though it has been experiencing some technical difficulties. Scroll down below the video to learn how to follow live tweets from the event. … Continue reading »

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Cal students launch headphone start-ups, raise big bucks

Accent Wear headphones
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It may be happenstance, or the sign of a specialized talent pool, but Berkeley is home to two new innovative headphone start-ups, both of which have made their debuts via crowd-funding sites.

One company was started by Cal graduates, and the other by Cal dropouts who left to pursue their acoustical dream.

If high-tech feline attire is your music-listening thing, take a look at Axent’s Wear Cat Ear headphones, which launched on Indiegogo a little over a month ago.

“The latest fusion of fashion and functionality with external cat ear speakers and LED lights,” reads the description. “Presenting Axent Wear, glowing, badass headphones that let you blast your music and express your style.”

The headphone company were started “by two UC Berkeley alum with an idea,” the site says.

That idea seems to have hit a chord. In just a few weeks, Axent raised more than $2.9 million, far exceeding its stated goal of $250,000. … Continue reading »

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Students march through Berkeley to protest tuition hikes

UC tuition protests. Photo: Siciliana Trevino
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Several hundred UC Berkeley students staged a walkout Monday, Nov. 24, to protest proposed tuition increases across the UC system.

As part of the walkout, a group around 200-strong took the protest to the streets of downtown Berkeley, starting at Civic Center Park and walking up Center Street toward the campus at around 1 p.m.

Police had stopped traffic at the corner of Center and Shattuck Avenue, and traffic was disrupted by the demonstration, said Siciliana Trevino who was on the scene and shot the video below.

The University of California’s Board of Regents voted Nov. 20 to authorize systemwide tuition increases of up to 5% per year through 2019-20 over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, who offered to increase state funding by 4% per year over the next two years only if tuition was frozen at the current rate.  … Continue reading »

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2 ‘botanical rubberneckers’ forage the East Bay

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By Gretchen Kell

With the gusto of wine enthusiasts in a tasting room, Philip Stark and Tom Carlson eye, sniff and sample their selections, pronouncing them “robust,” “lovely,” “voluptuous” — and even “just beyond words.” The undergraduate students with them flock close, curious.

The group is far from a trendy winery or upscale farmer’s market. Instead, gathered at the forlorn corner of Sycamore Avenue and South 45th St. in Richmond, they’re in the heart of a food desert, an area without easy access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. Yet, in this low-income neighborhood, with more liquor and fast-food shops than grocery stores, there’s a bounty of goodness thriving in some unlikely places — a parched lawn, sidewalk cracks, along a chain link fence.

And from the looks of it, that bounty is composed almost entirely of … weeds.

“Yes, these are weeds,” acknowledges Carlson, an ethnobotanist and a tenured lecturer in the Department of Integrative Biology, happily munching on a low-lying edible called cat’s ear. “But many of these were brought to America long ago by immigrants from Europe and Asia who used them for foods and medicines. There are high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in these food deserts, and study after study shows the benefits of eating more leafy greens. These are available and nutritious and free.” … Continue reading »

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Man, 20, found dead after party at Berkeley frat house

Police police cars outside the fraternity where a 20-year-old was found dead Nov. 9. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A 20-year-old man was found dead Sunday afternoon at the Zeta Psi fraternity in Berkeley, at 2728 Bancroft Ave., the day after the frat threw a large party that drew hundreds of attendees.

Police responded to a call about an unresponsive male just before 12:10 p.m., and found a man face down in a room in the fraternity, according to Lt. Ed Spiller of the Berkeley Police Department.

The Berkeley Fire Department also responded, and confirmed that the man had died. No time of death has been provided, but the man was described as “cold to the touch” over the police scanner. … Continue reading »

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Bill Maher responds to critics; he is coming to Berkeley

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Bill Maher addressed the controversy surrounding his speech at Cal’s December commencement on his show, Real Time with Bill Maher.

Maher said on Friday he had been pleased to be invited to speak. After all, he loves Berkeley and he wasn’t busy in December.

He also said that accusations of him being racist couldn’t be true, because Islam is not a race. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: Cal should take down beer and athletics billboard

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Has anyone been in the Alta Bates ER on a UC Berkeley football game night? I have, and it is an eye-opening experience of drunkenness and bloody injuries.

I was astonished this week as I headed home from work to see a billboard next to the freeway in Emeryville advertising beer with the Cal Athletics logo. I had noticed a similar billboard a year ago and wrote to the newly appointed Chancellor expressing my concerns. I received a prompt reply … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley Chancellor: Bill Maher must speak

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Hours after a student group uninvited Bill Maher to speak at UC Berkeley’s December commencement, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks invited him back, citing his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“The UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech,” the university said in a prepared statement. Continue reading »

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More than 2,500 protest Bill Maher’s speech at Cal

More than 2,500 people have singed a petition protesting Bill Maher's appearance at Cal's December commencement. Photo: Bill Maher
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Update: Oct. 30. The Chancellor has determined Maher will speak. See our update here.

The selection of TV host Bill Maher to deliver a December commencement address at UC Berkeley has come under fire from people who believe his views on Islam are racist.

More than 2,500 people have signed a petition on Change.org asking that the university withdraw its offer. The petition also suggests people boycott the address, now scheduled for Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. … Continue reading »

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