Page One

Occupy Cal is Back

By Steven Finacom
Thursday January 19, 2012 - 09:17:00 PM

As rain moved into the Bay Area for the first time since—when, November of last year?—Occupy Cal did in fact re-emerge on the UC Berkeley campus.

January 18, 2012, the second day of classes for the Spring semester, saw two illicit banners hung from campus buildings. The most prominent, a long, colorful streamer apparently painted on plastic and bolstered with wood at top and bottom, hung down the west face of the Sather Campanile. 

It read “Time UC Us Occupy”, but after tangling up in the clock hands and wind, only the top and bottom letters remained readable. University Police soon removed it, but probably not before thousands of pictures were snapped from cell phones as students walked through their mid-day class changes. 

The second banner was hung from the upper arcade of Eshleman Hall, facing north, over Lower Sproul Plaza and overlapping the office windows of the Daily Californian, which quickly and duly reported its message, “F—k You Birgeneau”, a perplexing sentiment if the Occupy movement hopes for conciliation, not confrontation, with the UC Berkeley Chancellor this semester. 

The next day, Thursday the 19th, campus buildings were peppered with flyers advertising a noontime rally and “General Assembly”, as well as a “study-in” at the Anthropology Library where staff and schedule cuts have taken place. 

The rally didn’t draw crowds. I walked past about halfway through the lunch hour. There were signs and speakers, but probably no more than about 50 people participating. About 30 individuals, by my count, sat down for the General Assembly. The few minutes I listened to were fairly brisk and businesslike; announcements about websites, gatherings, planning activities, and what other local protest groups were doing. 

At 3:00 PM demonstrators moved to the Anthropology Library in Kroeber Hall. Various news reports posted on-line indicate about 40 people stayed inside past the scheduled 5:00 p.m. closing. 

On this page are photographs of the January 18 and January 19 events.