What do you do when your demo is overshadowed by San Francisco's and Oakland's, if not more than 240 anti-Wall Street protests across the nation?
If you are clever young activists, you brand yourself, and that is exactly what Berkeley's version of the growing national movement is trying to do. And doesn't Berkeley have a few moves when it comes to protest?
"Occupy Berkeley," is the first branding step. Pending approval by the protest's communication committee (the protest is governed by committees open to all--even provocateurs.)
According to "Sister, our movement is nascent and growing."
Occupy Berkeley is the moniker for a planned rally and protest Saturday at noon at Bank of America Civic Plaza, Shattuck and Center. The rally/protest will be followed by a "general assembly," at 2:30 p.m.
Some of the issues which may be resolved Saturday include a move across the street from BA to Chase at Liberty Plaza and the downtown BART entrance/exit, whether to be arrested (probably optional), protest related actions off site, and the nagging problem of attracting more occupiers (over-nighters).
Russell Bates, a wizened Berkeley radical and Cop Watcher, who has been occupying BA Plaza overnight, said six others defied a persistent October rain and six more were "in and out” of the overnight occupation. Establishing overnight shifts is under committee review.
According to Alex Neil, communications committee member, an outreach to local schools is planned for this afternoon, and this could lead to a demographic change in the protest, which is now a mix of young and not young, a demographic different from the Manhattan protest.
And just for the record, this protest is officially leaderless. When the issue of going on KPFA to spread the word was discussed, Neil noted that no one was able to represent or speak for the group.
Those who-are-not-running the protest are still bristling at being compared to Mario Savio ("the two Savios") and I am appealing to Planet readers to provide a term I can use for them. Hint: they don't like "key persons" either. Persons of interest makes them sound like perps. The new activists? I give up.
The Planet will be doing a weekly wrap-up piece over the weekend. In the meantime, follow our daily updates.