Tag Archives: Occupy Cal

Bay Area Underground: A cornucopia of sub-cultures

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Two local lads — Matt Werner, a Cal English grad who now works at Google, and Joe Sciarrillo who is studying for his masters at Cal — have published a book that embraces many of the Bay Area’s “big” moments of the past five years, be it the Occupy protests or the Giants winning the World Series. A smattering of those events took place in Berkeley, as the photos here show. We caught up with co-author Matt Werner to find out more about ‘Bay Area Underground.’

What is Bay Area Underground about?
Bay Area Underground is a photobook featuring candid images of life in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2008-2012. The photos invite readers to revisit key moments that have defined living in the Bay Area during the Great Recession. The book captures the major social movements and cultural events in the Bay Area over the last five years from the Giants winning the World Series to the Bay to Breakers. It’s also one of the first books to cover Occupy Oakland and Occupy San Francisco, as well as the Oscar Grant protests in Oakland. … Continue reading »

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DA serves stay-away order on Occupy Cal protesters

A number of people charged in connection with Occupy Cal protests on Nov. 9 2011 were today served with a stay-away order, according to Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick.

Drenick confirmed that protesters being arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court today were given an order that they stay away from all UC property, except when going to and from class, and/or to and from employment and class or work.

More than a dozen people charged in connection with Occupy Cal protests are being arraigned and it is not clear whether the stay-away order applies to all of them.

The charges stem from a confrontation between thousands of students, faculty and staff and UC Police and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies on Nov. 9 2011. Videos of the clash went viral, sparking criticism of the way the university handled the situation. UC Police defended their actions in an open letter to the community. … Continue reading »

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Criminal charges filed against four Occupy Cal protesters

A November 9, 2011 Occupy Cal rally - before the confrontation with police
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Three UC Berkeley students and one professor have been charged with resisting arrest and other charges in connection with their participation in a Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest.

Professor Celeste Langan, who became well-known after a video was posted on You Tube showing a UC Berkeley police officer grabbing her hair and yanking her to the ground, has been charged with resisting arrest and remaining on the scene of a riot, according to Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick.

Ricardo Gomez, Zakary Habash and Ramon Quintero have also been charged with resisting arrest and some other misdemeanors, said Drenick.

Langan, a professor of English, is scheduled to be arraigned on March 16 and the others are scheduled to be arraigned on March 21. … Continue reading »

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Occupy protesters set up new tent camp at UC Berkeley

Tents on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley
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The wet weather did not deter a group of protesters from setting up a new Occupy Cal tent settlement on the steps of Sproul Hall, on the UC Berkeley campus.

The group set up five tents on Thursday Feb. 9 to commemorate the three-month anniversary of the Nov. 9th 2011 protest, when 40 people were arrested in a violent clash with police. The encampment has since grown to seven tents, despite university regulations prohibiting overnight camping.

About 30 to 40 protesters gathered for a potluck supper on the steps of Sproul Hall Sunday night, according to the Daily Californian. … Continue reading »

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City looks to tackle noise issue from news helicopters

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The city government will consider taking action on the issue of the noise pollution caused by news helicopters with councilmember Jesse Arreguín (district 4) bringing an item to the consent calendar at Tuesday’s City Council meeting this week.

“This is a quality of life issue and, as community leaders, we should  engage in a dialogue with media organizations to try to find some solutions,” Arreguin said.

Choppers are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and there is therefore a limit to how much Berkeley’s leaders can do to restrict their time in the air.

Because it’s been a news-heavy few months in Berkeley recently — with the Occupy Cal protests, a shooting on campus as well as a series of earthquakes —  media helicopters have been taking to the skies at a particularly high rate, causing angst among local residents. … Continue reading »

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UC Police hit back on protest violence with open letter

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The UC Berkeley Police Officers’ Association says it was not their decision to engage campus protesters on November 9th, claim some of their tactics, which have been widely criticized, were responses to violent protesters, and call out the Cal administration for not standing by the police after asking them to enforce its policies.

The UCB Police Officers’ Association, which represents approximately 64 campus police officers — the full complement in the UCPD — made these statements in an open letter released today. Part of the letter, which is addressed to students, faculty and UC Regents, reads: … Continue reading »

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Chancellor apologizes for Occupy Cal police response

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Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued an apology today for police tactics during Occupy Cal protests on November 9 on campus.

In a recording made while en route to spending Thanksgiving with his children and grandchildren on the East Coast, Birgeneau said he took full responsibility for the events that day and would do “his very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The manner in which the police handled Occupy Cal protesters on that November night has come under scrutiny and attracted attention. … Continue reading »

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Poet writes about Occupy Cal, protesters plan next steps

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Robert Hass, professor of poetry and poetics at UC Berkeley, attended Occupy Cal this month and wrote about his experience in an op-ed piece for the New York Times on Sunday titled “Poet-Bashing Police”.

He decided to go on campus with his wife, Brenda Hillman, after hearing about police beating protesters with truncheons in order gain access to, and dismantle, tents that had been declared unauthorized by the Cal administration.

“I wanted to see what was going to happen and how the police behaved, and how the students behaved. If there was trouble, we wanted to be there to do what we could to protect the students,” he writes.

As we reported on November 14th, the former poet laureate ended up being hit by police and his wife was knocked to the ground. The experience, he writes, got him thinking that “life is full of strange contingencies.” Read the full column in the New York Times. … Continue reading »

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

Book tents
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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.

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UC police dismantle tent city on steps of Sproul Hall

UC Berkeley students who were rousted from their encampment lingered in Sproul Plaza on Thursday morning.
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About 50 UC police officers dressed in riot gear descended upon the Occupy Cal encampment Thursday morning and rousted sleeping students and protesters from the steps of Sproul Hall.

The police arrived at 3:30 am and issued an order for those in the encampment to dismantle their tents. Some students willingly complied with the command, but others moved too slowly, prompting police to take down some tents and cart them away.

“They came in and gave us five minutes notice and then took over,” said Shawndeez Jadali, a freshman in Peace and Conflict Studies. “We got a good number of tents out. We need them and we are going to bring them back.”

Two students were arrested in the early morning raid, including one with a cat, according to other students. … Continue reading »

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After night of camping, weary Cal protesters settle in

The mood at the new Occupy Cal encampment was calm Wednesday morning. Photos: Frances Dinkelspiel
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A few dozen bleary eyed protestors who spent Tuesday night camped on the steps of Sproul Hall vowed Wednesday morning to stay in UC Berkeley’s main square as long as possible, even though UC Berkeley police announced numerous times Wednesday morning that the tent encampment was illegal.

Now that police have rousted the Occupy Wall Street encampments in New York’s Zuccotti Park, and at the Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, it is more important than ever to maintain a physical presence at Cal, some protesters argued. For that reason, many declined to go over to San Francisco today to join other Occupy protesters in picketing the offices of some of the UC Regents. … Continue reading »

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Cal students vote to set up Occupy camp on campus

Gen assembly
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At the Occupy Cal general assembly held Tuesday night on the UC Berkeley campus, protesters voted to set up an encampment in the style of the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland tent-cities both of which have been forcibly dismantled by authorities this week.

The vote to establish a camp was passed by 1,267 people according to the Daily Californian reporting on Twitter.

UC Berkeley administration issued a statement last week saying it would not tolerate an encampment. When tents … Continue reading »

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Rally begins after teach-ins at Occupy Cal Day of Action

Will Crum singing, pretend libraries, piano playing, sign making and discussions at Occupy Cal
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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. … Continue reading »

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