October 7, 2010 was a day of protest in the UC system, focusing on budget cuts but extending to a range of other student and labor issues. The main planned event of the day at the UC Berkeley campus was a Sproul Plaza rally.
Following a march through the campus, perhaps 500 protestors occupied the Reading Room at Doe Library for several hours, before leaving the building.
These photos, contributed to the Planet by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous, show the chronological sequence of events during the day.
Morning pickets assembled at campus entrances, distributing red armbands and flyers. Some passing drivers honked in support.
Posters lampooning UC President Mark Yudof and Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (pictured with a Pinocchio nose made of a long balloon) made frequent appearances in the demonstration. During the morning small groups gathered outside, while UC security watched.
The noontime Sproul Plaza rally filled the center of the Plaza and the Savio Steps with several hundred demonstrators.
Following the rally a crowd, probably numbering at least 500, marched to California Hall, the administration building while UC police watched from the sidelines. Along the way a campus display wall with the fundraising slogan “Thanks to UC…” was amended to read, “…I’m in debt.”
As the head of the marching column reached California Hall, the rear ranks were still passing through Dwinelle Plaza. The march circled California Hall then headed up towards the Campanile, before circling back to Doe Library.
400-500 demonstrators entered Doe Library and climbed to the main reading room. UC Police initially blocked access after the room filled up, but soon were simply standing by the doors as protestors and curious spectators came and went. In the nearby Heyns Reading Room and other parts of the enormous building, students continued to study undisturbed.
University Library administrators asked the crowd in the reading room to respect the facility and its users, and told them they could stay until the usual closing time of 9:00 pm. Some protestors brought in food—mainly water and bread—and ate at the study tables, while others circulated through the crowd picking up litter and debris.
Protest signs were hung from the bookshelf walls and scattered on tables. Demonstrators talked and debated throughout the room. Individuals stood on chairs and tables to speak to the crowd but the cavernous hall amplified background noise and made it hard for the whole crowd to hear any single speaker. Votes were taken on whether to remain in the building.
Downstairs, UC Police clustered, but according to the Daily Californian live blogging, the protestors largely exited the Library on their own well before the 9:00 pm closing time. Two men had climbed through the windows of the reading room to hang a banner above the main entrance.