Occupy Cal- day 1

Posted: November 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

There are so many occupy events and news items, it’s almost impossible to start at the beginning (and that’s been well covered), so we’ll start in the middle.

On Wednesday, October 9, 2011, University of California at Berkeley students began a day of Occupy Cal protests that ended up with a UC Police & Alameda Sheriff’s Department crackdown and destruction of the few tents that were erected. By the end of the first 24 hours, 40 people were arrested, some were injured, and there was a peaceful, sleepy bunch of tents on Sproul Plaza, traditional location for protests from the 1960s Free Speech Movement through today.

The UC warned ahead of time that there could be no tents on UC property- but since the point of occupy is to, uh, occupy, there was a problem. The Chancellor, who is now facing calls to resign, released a statement the day before that generally supported Occupy Wall Street.

Wednesday morning, Liz The Intern sat in on Jesse Luscious’ weekly radio show on UC Berkeley’s legendary KALX. We discussed our experiences over the past few weeks with the Occupy movement, from Oakland to Berkeley to San Francisco. This was interspersed throughout the regular music programming so we’ve uploaded the full segment, music and all, for your listening pleasure!

Here’s the playlist for the entire 3 hour show (this soundclip covers most of the final hour). 
Later that day, the student activists had teach-ins, set up a couple of tents, and held a General Assembly. Then, all hell broke loose.
Here’s the clearly violent students forcing the riot police to use their batons [/sarcasm]

Here’s an overview that includes the footage above and shows more of the layout.

So remind me why it’s worth it to the UC system to spend $$ and fly helicopters and wear riot gear and call in multiple other police forces (and spend THEIR $$) to knock down a tent. The UC says 24/7 access is fine with tarps and speakers, but tents? Fuggedaboutit! Break out the billyclubs!
The Chancellor responded with a letter that was really really insane. You can read the whole text here.
From the letter:
“It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience.

Really? Seems like non-violence means not being violent. Also, I think decades of non-violent civil disobedience with unarmed protesters linking arms clearly proves the Chancellor is either a) incredibly ignorant or b) willfully lying.

“We regret that, given the instruction to take down tents and prevent encampment, the police were forced to use their batons to enforce the policy.”

Must. Hit. Coed. On. Head. Can’t. Stop. Swinging. Baton!
Here are some shots I took later that night of the 1,000+ students & community members (90% students) on the steps of Sproul during the general assembly. This is just a portion of the crowd… There’s a line of riot police along the left side stretching across the grass. Pockets of 2-4 riot police are just hanging out on the outside of the crowd, checking their phones like the rest of the 99% here!

Look out! A tent!

The first tent, thankfully vanquished earlier that day. It’s important to guard it just to make sure it doesn’t come back to life and threaten to shelter any occupiers.

The next morning. What a disgusting, violent scene! Good thing the UC spent time and $ preventing such atrocious activities from taking place.

This photo is from the Bay Citizen.

The campus newspaper, the Daily Cal, has been out there the entire time and is a key resource for ongoing news of Occupy Cal. Their twitter feed was a crucial communication link on Wednesday.

  1. […] doing a 3 hour music show on KALX (where I talked about the local Occupy movements again, hear part of last week’s show here), I stopped by Occupy Cal. It was peaceful, there were a dozen tent that were in the process of […]

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