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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

US REVOLT - Berkeley Protests on Public Education

Anti-Wall Street protesters rallied on Tuesday at the University of California, Berkeley, vowing to reestablish a short-lived camp even as police shot and wounded a man who brandished a gun in a campus computer lab.

Police said there was no indication the shooting was linked to the demonstrations taking place in Sproul Plaza, across campus, and protest organizers said they would not be deterred from rebuilding a nascent "Occupy Cal Encampment" torn down by police a week earlier.

"The shooting on campus is completely unrelated to today's protest. All plans continue," Caloccupation said in a tweet about two hours after the incident, as thousands of students and protesters rallied in the plaza.

Campus police said they shot the unidentified man after he drew a gun from his backpack in the lab at the Haas School of Business and displayed it in a threatening manner. He was in surgery at a hospital on Tuesday evening, the university said.

Protest organizers had called for a daylong student strike featuring teach-ins and rallies in response to the arrest of 39 people last week after demonstrators briefly tried to "occupy" the campus with tents.

Tuesday's rallies were bolstered by members of the Occupy Oakland movement, who were evicted on Monday morning from their own camp in that city's Frank Ogawa Plaza near downtown and who marched north to Berkeley to join the protests.

At Berkeley, protesters beat on drums and chanted as they held up signs reading "Hella Occupy" and "Defend Public Education" and displayed pictures from 1960s student protests and marches led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

"The things that brought me out are cuts in social services and education," 22-year-old history major Eden Foley said as she staffed a Students for Social Change table in the plaza.

Buddy Roark, a 23-year-old coffee shop barista from nearby San Leandro, said he came to speak out against "just inequality in general, but especially with the political system being influenced by the cash flow."


Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich was scheduled to speak later on Tuesday, and an agenda circulated by organizers of the strike called for "reestablishment of the Occupy Cal Encampment" at 8 p.m.

Campus police, who were criticized for their handling of last week's demonstrations, declined to say if they would prevent protesters from setting up their tents on campus.

"Certainly that encampment is both against university policy and state law, so we will definitely again be educating protesters and participants on how they can exercise their first amendment rights," Police Lieutenant Alex Yao said.

He said that the goal of officers during last week's raid had been to remove the "illegal encampment" and that they had been actively resisted by the demonstrators.

"Officers used the means that was necessary at the time to overcome this resistance and move the crowd back so they could gain access and remove the illegal tents," he said.

Recent unrest surrounding protests in nearby Oakland has helped rally support nationwide for Occupy Wall Street, a movement launched in New York in September to protest economic inequality and excesses of the financial system.

Continue reading - Reuters - Berkeley protests carry on despite campus shooting

Berkeley Students Hold Strike, Teach Out

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