Live-Blog: UPTE Union Strike and Faculty Walkout

Stephanie M. Lee/Photo

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Walkout Rally at Sproul Plaza

Students, faculty, union representatives and community members met Thursday at noon in Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to rally against cuts to the UC budget.

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Walkout rally turns into a march

Thursday, after the walkout rally in Sproul, students, faculty, stuff, union members and community members marched through the UC Berkeley campus and through downtown Berkeley.

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The events of the September 24 walkout at UC Berkeley

A comprehensive video detailing the events of the September 24 walkout at UC Berkeley. Students, faculty, and staff were protesting the number of budget cuts that are hitting the University of California.

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Photo:    Photo: Hundreds gathered on Sproul Plaza at noon for the walkout.   

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This is a live-blog outlining the reporter's observations of today's events.

Click here for the latest article.

9:06 p.m.

Students moved the discussion to Lower Sproul Plaza after UCPD cut the locks that were chained to the doors of the auditorium. The students are continuing their discussion.

8:42 p.m.

Students are holding a discussion about the next steps to take and some are deciding whether to remain in the building for the rest of the night. People have chained the front doors of Wheeler Hall.


Police are opening Bancroft Way back to traffic.


The Berkeley Police Department has stopped traffic at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Ave. for a demonstration at the intersection that included a dance performance given by students, staff and community members.

Picket lines have also returned to the south entrance of campus where striking members of UPTE continue to demonstrate.


A two block long progression of marchers has stopped at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Ave.

2:47 pm

Marchers have moved on after sitting down at the intersection of Shattuck Ave. and Bancroft Way. Currently traffic has been shut down on Bancroft Way by police while the marchers continue to stand in the middle of Bancroft Way chanting "Whose university? Our university."

2:10 pm

The crowd is moving down the middle of Addison Street and moving more towards Shattuck Avenue chanting "walk with us!."

1:42 pm

The plaza is emptying as the crowd commences a march around campus starting through Sather Gate and moving north.

12:57 pm

The rally has continued with speakers from the UC Berkeley faculty, staff and student body.

Claudette Begin, a campus administrative assistant and a UC union member, thanked the ground and spoke of the union's position versus the UC administration.

"It's so encouraging to see you all today," she said. "Many of us came here knowing that the pay was less ... my coworkers are suffering, the people that I represent in my union they're suffering. It makes you (so) very sad and anxious you don't sleep as well."

12:36 pm

The union strike has already led to the closure of the Bancroft Library today, according to Charles Faulhaber, director of the library. He added that the lack of security staff today was paramount to the decision to close for the day.

"We didn't have enough security,"he said. "The staff are here working, but we are not able to open to the public because we are a high security library."

12:10 pm

The rally began at 11:59 a.m. with hundreds of students listening a speaker in front of Sproul Hall.

"A state in its right mind doesn't destroy (a university) when times get tough. But this, make no mistake, is what has happened," the speaker said.

11:49 am

About 15 minutes leading up to the noon rally, over a hundred protesters and onlookers have gathered on Upper Sproul Plaza, with hundreds more gathered at the picket line at Telegraph Ave. and Bancroft Way and walking around campus.

Hundreds of students moved from the picket line to join rally on the plaza at about 11:48 a.m., many holding signs and chanting, "Whose university? Our university!"

In the minutes leading up to noon, hundreds of UC Berkeley community members gathered on Sproul Plaza, chanting, "No cuts no fees, education should be free."

11:24 am

In addition to the teach-in that occurred on the steps of the Valley Life Science Building, teach-ins are taking place on the west steps of California Hall and in the courtyard west of the Free Speech Cafe.

A group of about six students and union members rallied just outside of the cafe next to the hall. They chanted cheers including, "(UC Berkeley) Chancellor Birgeneau listen up. ... budget cuts have got to go. ... don't raise tuition; we ain't got the dough."

Ellen Moore, a UAW Local 2865 member and a GSI who teaches a literacy and societal development class, took part in the chants. She said she encouraged her students to attend the noon rally on Upper Sproul Plaza and write about their experiences.

"I hope that the regents and the state government will see that we are united," she said. "I see the cuts that are happening as absolutely detrimental to public education in California."

10:48 am

At least two teach-ins took place in front of the Valley Life Science Building this morning on the UC Berkeley campus.

French Professor Ann Smock was one of several speakers who spoke about the budget crisis with about 20 students for an hour on the front steps leading up to the entrance of the building. The teach-in concluded at about 10:40 a.m.

"I thought that the discussion was really good and that students brought up a lot of really good points," said Sophomore Alon Mazor, a social welfare major. "I think it helped to hear some new voices."

Stay tuned to for real-time updates about the systemwide faculty walkout and union strike. Get published online by sending your own photos and observations to [email protected].


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