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Cal “Occupy” Emerges Once Again (Photo Essay)

By Steven Finacom
Friday February 10, 2012 - 03:36:00 PM

The first good rainstorm of the year last week, and the fine weather that has followed, seem to have sparked a newly fertile “Occupy” demonstration on Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus. 

When I walked by in the early morning today, Thursday February 9, 2012, there was nothing except a few slogans scrawled in chalk on the plaza. At lunch time, there were a number of signs and objects and a circle of people sitting on the Savio Steps and talking. 

And, by mid-afternoon, when I went by on a work break, it seemed as if another full-fledged “Occupy” encampment was unfolding.  

Four small tents had been erected on the broad flat between the two tiers of steps, an information tent and tables were up, and a large red and white mushroom-like object was emplaced on the lawn. 

There were banners and signs aplenty, , some spread on the steps, others leaning against the portico of Sproul Hall, none yet tied to trees or taped to walls.  

Today's signage seemed to have two themes—one a play on upcoming Valentine’s Day (including a profusion of hearts, of various sizes, and an “Occupy Your Hearts” slogan) and the other solidarity with Occupy Oakland. “Oakland is our neighbor, not another planet,” read one banner.  

Another set of placards displayed pictures of the controversial police actions last Fall at the Berkeley campus and UC Davis Occupy encampments, each labeled “Administration Approved.” 

As I walked by, a man wearing a Guy Fawkes plastic mask—popularized by some in both the Occupy and ‘Anonymous’ movements—passed in the other direction saying into cell phone, “Hey, you want to come and occupy? They’re putting up tents.” 

The Daily Cal later reported that the gathering was on the 3rd month anniversary of November 9 protests last year, and that UC police had asked the demonstrators to take down the tents, and were refused. A “General Assembly” had been scheduled for 6:00 PM. The OccupyCalCampus twitter feed reported a little before 8:00 PM that "The dean of student affairs and two cops will be making an announcement...come participate in the dialogue..."  

Here are a number of pictures of the apparently budding demonstration.