Students, Faculty Participate in Library Teach-In

Photo: Police stand outside a teach-in held in Tolman Hall's Education and Psychology Library.
Jeff Totten/Photo
Police stand outside a teach-in held in Tolman Hall's Education and Psychology Library.

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Student/faculty library teach-in, October 16

Students and faculty met in the education and psychology library to discuss what they view as the increasing privatization of the university.

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Photo: Anthropology professor Laura Nader addressed those attending Friday's teach-in.   

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Nearly 60 UC Berkeley students and faculty attended a teach-in at the Education Psychology Library in Tolman Hall last Friday in protest of what they view as the growing privatization of the university.

Attendees gathered before the library closed and held their teach-in past the library's 5 p.m. closing time, as UCPD officers stood outside. The teach-in ended around 5:40 p.m., at which point some attendees left to join Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory bus drivers in a protest on Gayley Road and Hearst Avenue.

According to participants, last Wednesday's announcement that libraries hours would be restored did not change the purpose of the teach in.

"This is bigger than just libraries," said Andi Walden, a Middle Eastern studies and political science double major. "Our intent all along has been to open up public spaces, this is one expression of that."

The teach-in follows a 24-hour study-in beginning on Oct. 9 at the Anthropology Library in Kroeber Hall, where students protested library cuts and called for free, open access to campus libraries.

Some who gathered at the most recent teach-in saw the restoration of library hours as a response to the study-in of the previous week.

"We have learned one major lesson from this last week and that is that this administration responds to action," said teach-in participant Marika Iyer, a history and peace and conflict studies double major. "We must continue to use this tactic until our dream of a truly public university is realized."

According to some of the participants, future direct actions to reclaim public space are in the works.

Anthropology professor Laura Nader addressed the crowd on the the student response to budget cuts and offered advice on how to advance their cause.

The teach-in comes a week before a statewide mobilizing conference in UC Berkeley's Pauley Ballroom, which aims to determine the course of future actions within public education, according to teach-in participant Matt Marks.

"The main objective is to facilitate space to come together, discuss our unique experiences and figure out intersections and come together at those intersections in order to form a cohesive powerful movement that really has a chance at achieving something," Marks said.

Contact Javier Panzar at [email protected]

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