University of California at Berkeley police on Thursday defended their actions during demonstrations on campus the day before when the newly formed "Occupy Cal" movement drew thousands of people and resulted in dozens of arrests. -more-
As Occupy Oakland vies with Occupy Manhattan for world-attention, and Occupy Cal revives memories of the sixties' Free Speech Movement (40 arrests in two days), Occupy Berkeley is struggling to find its voice amid a vast national movement of same-sayers. -more-
Friday, November 11, 2011 was a work or school holiday for many in Berkeley, including this writer. But it’s probably safe to say that very few people in Berkeley commemorated the date either for the original reason it was established, or for its later, broadened, purpose. -more-
A man in his early 20s was fatally shot near the "Occupy Oakland" encampment in downtown Oakland this evening, a police spokeswoman said. -more-
Protesters in the burgeoning "Occupy Cal" movement at the University of California at Berkeley are continuing to congregate outside Sproul Hall on campus today after demonstrations on Wednesday drew thousands and resulted in dozens of arrests. -more-
Police have dismantled an encampment at the University of California at Berkeley tonight and protesters continue to hold their ground. -more-
We are writing this as we have received inquiries, calls and emails and wanted to offer accurate information to those who have questions or inquired.
There has been some widespread confusion as to the law enforcement entities that were involved in the Occupy Cal events of last evening. Members of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) were not part of any mutual aid or assistance last evening/night. We have received calls and emails about our presence there. Out of respect and policy, we defer to UCPD to speak to their jurisdiction, activities and what assistance they sought.
City of Berkeley Police department (BPD) did manage the protest/demonstration during a part of the afternoon of November 9, 2011 when the group of several hundred marched onto City of Berkeley streets which are our jurisdiction. Groups have often done this when protesting or demonstrating in the past. BPD had bike officers, motor officers, parking enforcement officers and patrol officers to maintain community safety, the safety of participants, officer safety and to monitor the group for any unlawful activity. There was much verbal energy but no arrests were made. It went fairly smoothly. BPD managed the march until the group returned to UC campus. -more-
A day designated to “Occupy Cal” included dawn to dusk protest activities on the UC Berkeley campus on Wednesday, including outdoor classes, a large noontime rally, a slightly smaller but still vigorous march to the Telegraph Avenue Bank of America, debate and establishment of a small tent occupation on campus, and a mid-afternoon confrontation with UC Police which resulted in removal of some of the tents and a few arrests.
As dusk fell and a full moon rose over the Berkeley Hills, three news helicopters thrummed above Sproul Plaza and hundreds milled about two tents set up after the afternoon occupation.
Most of the protest occurred quite close to my campus office so I was able to take a late lunch to watch part of the rally and march. Later, when shouting arose I stepped outside for a short mid-afternoon break to watch the tent confrontation, then returned after work to see what remained.
Two photo essays will be posted here, a combination of my pictures and other contributed pictures. The first essay traces the events of the day in roughly chronological sequence. The second shows the wide variety of protest signs that were hoisted during the demonstrations. -more-
A photo chronology of the November 9, 2011 “Occupy Cal” Day of Protest -more-
A sampling of the creative signs at the November 9, 2011, “Occupy Cal” Protest. Captions provide the text of the signs. -more-
At the Home of the Free Speech Movement the UCPD appears to have suppressed Free Speech Again! Please join us in questioning this behavior and challenge the UCPD to respect the Free Speech Rights of Occupy Cal. -more-
Police have broken through a line of protesters on the University of California at Berkeley campus this afternoon and are taking down a half-dozen tents set up by the demonstrators. -more-
Students and University of California at Berkeley employees are setting up an encampment on the campus today to protest tuition and fee increases for university students and funding cuts to all levels of public education. -more-
It was a beautiful late October day, ideal weather for enjoying the sweeping panorama from atop the hills north of the Berkeley Marina. It was a lovely day for soaking up the sun and inhaling great gasps of fresh Bay breeze. And it was also a perfect day for grabbing pick-axes, shovels and a hundred small boulders to gussy up the perimeter surrounding the César Chávez Memorial Solar Calendar. -more-
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 25th, police raided the encampment of Occupy Oakland. We'd gotten word that it was likely to occur this night, and, as I headed out to join my companions at the Plaza, I was thinking of an incident from local history--the police attack in the Port of Oakland on the morning of April 7, 2003. -more-
Back to Berkeley, after the excitement in Oakland seems to have settled into a long slog, this week we have an example of the unintended consequences of the city management’s latest attempt to squeeze more moolah out of the citizenry.
You may remember that The Management, rubberstamped as usual by a complaisant group of electeds, has been sold Smart Boot, a computerized scheme for rapid collection of outstanding traffic tickets. Like many innovations which glom on to “Smart” branding, it’s a dumb idea which is looking dumber and dumber all the time. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Dear Oakland City Council,
You are getting internationally known public figures visiting and publicizing Oakland in a positive way. Are you people SERIOUS about trying to remove something you've been wanting for years to create? -more-
As veterans and historians of the 1964 Free Speech Movement that established the rights of students to freely express their concerns over critical social issues within the boundaries of the University of California's campus, we were shocked by the actions of campus police who seized banners from students peacefully demonstrating in Sproul Plaza and on the Sproul Steps. -more-
After a day of demonstrations (Nov. 9) to protest increasing tuitions at a state funded university, to protest cuts in staff and curriculum in an era of horrendously large administrative salaries and bonuses, though not yet calling for a return of the university to an educational rather than career focus, students at UC Berkeley decided to "Occupy" the campus. They set up a few tents on Sproul Plaza, as occupiers had been setting up such encampments all over the country. -more-
On tonight's news, they featured various segments covering protests at Occupy Oakland, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Denver, Occupy Seattle, Occupy New York, Occupy Austin, Occupy Chicago, etc. And tonight I was also a part of "Occupy Cal". And the university police charged into a mass of student demonstrators like they were going after bank robbers or bad guys instead of just students protesting HUGE tuition hikes. And the students stood their ground on Sproul Plaza against great odds. -more-
I was thinking about Ted's "occupy yourself!" rant. I'd seen some people take offense at it and at some of Ted's other takes on Occupy. I was thinking about what to say to those people. It's this:
Ted's bent here is just run of the mill cynical nihilism. There's a lot of that around here, particularly among people of a certain generation. They think: Grass roots revolutionary change is impossible, wrong-headed, and pitiful -- don't you know? Anything that smells vaguely like ideology is almost certainly meaningless. Uncle Ted will share his views on the absurdities and vacuousness of the whole affair... he's seen it all unfold before.
Which is a perfectly reasonable position for Ted to take, even if he's wrong. -more-
CALL President Yudof and Gov. Jerry Brown—keep calling and emailing.Tell them you are a resident of California (and where you live) and a taxpayer!
Tell them you will not support any Cal events or sporting events until the University supports students in their quest for an affordable education and stop the expansion of a corporate based privatized University that serves Corporations.
I have just finished watching some of the videos of the police attacking unarmed students on the UC Berkeley campus. The beatings are appalling. And the reappearance of "non-lethal" shotguns on campus inexcusable. (Question: Was the office who shot a demonstrator with a beanbag blast during the last campus incursion ever identified and held accountable?) But, in addition to seeing more evidence of deplorable police behavior, I also saw something new, remarkable and inspiring -- it was expressed in the decorum of the students. -more-
Between 2001 and 2006, there was a dramatic increase in Listener Support at KPFA due to the expanding economy and interest in the Iraq-Afghan War. KPFA added many paid staff during this period; however, between 2007 and 2010 Listener Support declined dramatically as the whole economy crashed. -more-
Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in September 2011, a protest movement spread across the United States to 70 major cities and hundreds of other communities. Similar actions emerged in scores of other nations.
For the first two weeks, the corporate-owned mainstream media along with NPR did what they usually do with progressive protests: they ignored them. These were the same media that had given the Tea Party supporters saturation coverage for weeks on end, ordaining them “a major political force.”
The most common and effective mode of news repression is omission. By saying nothing or next to nothing about dissenting events, movements, candidates, or incidents, the media consign them to oblivion. When the Occupy movement spread across the country and could no longer be ignored, the media moved to the second manipulative method: trivialization and marginalization. -more-
Around the bay area, all the Occupy franchises are Occupy_______(add your city's name), but in some parts of the world, occupiers have gamed the name. -more-
Occupy Wall Street is getting positive reviews and is viewed favorably by most Americans. Does OWS indicate the US political process has hit bottom and Americans are ready for radical change? -more-
Many people think that the main cause of relapse for a person with mental illness is noncompliance with taking medication. However, much of the time, persons with mental illness are doing everything they’re supposed to do (including taking medication, attending therapy, and being a participant in life) and yet a relapse still takes place. Furthermore, when noncompliance is a major factor in a relapse, it is not always something that happens on a mere whim. Often, the person with mental illness first deteriorated to an extent, and this led to the poor judgment of choosing noncompliance. A very large percentage of people with schizophrenia, possibly more than half, will have a relapse within a year of getting stabilized—and this is despite being medication compliant. -more-
Living alone, in fiction, nonfiction and even children’s books, is generally regarded as unfortunate, something to be avoided. Being alone is assumed unpleasant, probably the result of misfortune. Aloneness is often associated with consolation, solitude, even secrecy -more-
Have you noticed that songbirds are getting bigger? Good. Neither had I. But it’s happening, according to an article by PRBO Conservation Science biologist Rae Goodman and colleagues recently published online by the journal Global Change Biology. (Has enough time elapsed that we don’t have to say “formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory” any more? These people may have a branding problem; maybe they should hire another consultant, or try a contest.) The differences are subtle; we’re not talking about chicken-sized song sparrows. They are, however, measurable and consistent—and may be related to global warming, if in an unexpected way. -more-
Maybe it is time for Americans to contact the members of the Super Committee to demand that its recommendations include raising taxes on the rich with that money to be used to provide relief for those Americans on the bottom of the economic pile, and no cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and other vital programs. A failure by the Super Committee to compromise will be just another symbol of a failed government. -more-
Why is the Obama Administration creating obstacles and throwing cold water on talks with North Korea, and why is it binding itself to right-wing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, whose politics just took a shellacking in the recent race for mayor of Seoul?
The answer seems to be a convergence of U.S. concerns over the growing power of China, a desperate battle by American arms manufacturers to fend off military budget cuts, and a fantasy by President Lee of a uniting the Korean Peninsula under the banner of the South. -more-
Arts & Events
With “Occupy” movements currently agitating our very urban inner Bay Area turf, it’s perhaps a strange time to think about bucolic landscapes. But there’s a good reason to switch mental gears, at least for a few hours, in the next month.
The expanded and renamed museum at St. Mary’s College of California is hosting a splendid exhibit of the artwork of William Keith the prolific, famed California landscape painter—and once-notable Berkeley resident, I should add—of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The exhibit, entitled “The Comprehensive Keith”, commemorates the centennial of the death of the painter in April 1911. It runs through December 18 and features well over one hundred of his oil paintings and some watercolors. Most are landscapes, but there’s also a selection of his lesser-known portrait paintings. -more-
Around & About Music: Opera Lab's reading of Massenet's 'Sapho'; Greenlief, Kjaerkgaard, Perkis--and Empty cage--at Berkeley Arts Festival; Dazzling Divas at Bateau Ivre
—Massenet's 'Sapho' will receive a staged reading by Opera Lab, its cast of singers accompanied by Robert Ashens, this Sunday at 3 at the Chapel of the Chimes, 4496 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Sung in French with explanatory commentary. Refreshments will be served. Free. Donations requested. Reservations (space limited): firstname.lastname@example.org
—Sunday night, Berkeley Arts Festival will feature the trio of Phillip Greenlief, tenor saxophone; Soren Kjaerkgaard, prepared piano; and Tim Perkis, electronics at 8, followed by Empty Cage--Jason Meers, saxophone & clarinet; Kris Tiner, trumpet; Ivan Johnson, bass; Paul Kikuchi, drums, at 9. $10. 2133 University Avenue by Ace Hardware (near Shattuck) berkeleyartsfestival.com
—The Dazzling Divas--Pamela Connelly, Kathleen Moss and Eliza O'Malley, accompanied by Hadley Mc Carroll--return to the Bateau Ivre next Wednsday, November 16, 7-9, with arias and duets from Puccini, Verdi, Bellini, Bizet and Delibes--plus a new trio from Mozart. No cover. 2629 Telegraph. 849-1100 -more-
Reviews: The Residents' Randy Rose at the Marsh; 'The Internationalist': Just Theater at Ashby Stage
—An old bum in a trench coat and hat, a spray of white hair under the brim, steers his walker—smiley-face helium balloon floating above—through the audience towards the stage at The Marsh, Berkeley ... With the grudging help of a deadpan pianist, the arriviste starts to talk, then sing, croon, put on a show—a kind of manic geriatric cabaret, but not the type you see indoors, at least not on a stage; maybe in the mirror of a furnished room ... -more-
Around & About Theater: "Cracked Clown'--David A.Moss at the East Bay Media Center; 'Shoot O'Malley Twice'--Virago Theater; Gesture Vocabularies, lecture & video on mudras in Indian ritual & traditional theater at UCB
—David Moss, a talented performer on Bay Area stages over the past decade and more, will reprise his show 'Cracked Clown' Friday & Saturday the 11th & 12th at 8 p. m., the same show that sold out here in August, at the East Bay Media Center, which has initiated a live performance series over the past few months. 1939 Addison, just west of Milvia, in the Berkeley Arts District. $12. 843-3646; eastbaymediacenter.com -more-
Improvisations conjured by Fred Frith; roaming drunken shaman expelling high-end drugstore vibrations on a mystical pocket fm radio and guitar along with Theresa Wong; cave dwelling amateur magician and high priestess of the vocal disorder meet in trio for the first time with court jester and pianist, Søren Kjærgaard to channel anything, everything and sometimes nothing through spirited sonic outbreaks. -more-