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UC Berkeley leads local Occupy movement

On Nov. 15, thousands of protesters gathered at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza for Open University, Occupy Cal’s General Strike.

About 3,500 people gathered at Sproul Plaza for the general assembly, according to the Daily Californian. The people voted overwhelmingly in favor of re-establishing an encampment, writing an open letter to university and state officials and organizing a debate with them. All photos by Jen Ramos.

Occupy Cal protesters marched across the City of Berkeley, stopping at Berkeley City College and Berkeley High School, before returning to the plaza.

At 4:30 p.m., Occupy Oakland protesters marched to Sproul Plaza from Telegraph Avenue to join Occupy Cal.

During the General Assembly on the UC Berkeley campus, an excerpt from Mario Savio’s 1964 speech was read to the crowd.

Berkeley City College and Berkeley High join UC Berkeley’s march to Sproul.

Protesters were allowed to speak at the assembly, and many voiced their opinions about proposals to organize a public debate about the current state of public higher education, send an open letter to the administration, the Regents and the state and to set up an encampment on the UC Berkeley campus following the meeting. All proposals passed.

On Nov. 18, the encampment at UC Berkeley was raided by the University of California Police Department.

Prior to the General Assembly, a shooting occurred at a Haas Business School computer lab. The Daily Californian reported that police had been alerted that a student in the building was armed. The police shot the student, who later died in the hospital. Though it was reported that this specific incident was not related to the Occupy Cal movement, it raised concerns among the students who were at Sproul at the time of
the shooting.

Due to the threat of violence and vandalism, the Regents also decided to reschedule their meeting to Nov. 28, which will be held from various locations through teleconference, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On Occupy Cal’s Facebook page, a student posted a proposal to create a permanent Open University following the police raid. Open University would provide free education for all who wish to learn and be an ongoing feature of Occupy Cal.

“We propose a daily (teach-in) from noon to 2 p.m. at the encampment/Sproul Plaza on a rotating range of topics, generated as need and interest determines and organized by an Open University Working Group,” the Facebook post said.

A teach-in, a meeting that aims to equally distribute information among people present, about police brutality and repression will take place on Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. on the steps of Sproul Plaza.

“We see the daily Open University as a site of limitless possibility, a space for conversation, and a means to occupy in an innovative, inclusive and collaborative way that resonates with and is reflective of UC Berkeley as a space of learning,” Occupy Cal’s post said.