Demonstrators Hold Protest as Precursor to Regents' Meeting Protest

Michael Restrepo/Staff

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About 40 protesters gathered with banners and signs at the east entrance of California Hall at around 6:40 a.m. this morning in an attempt to block the building's entrances and prevent administrative staff from reaching their offices.

Police officers had already surrounded the building by 6:30 a.m. and set up a barricade of the building's west entrance to prevent protesters from blocking that side. Throughout the morning, police were able to escort administrators to and from the building past protesters holding banners with messages such as "Hey administrators: join us/resign."

"My impression is that there is a great deal of apathy on campus, especially among the undergrads," said UC Berkeley doctoral candidate Sam England. "I hope to see more people join us today, seeing as this is kind of a low turnout."

Those gathered outside the hall said the demonstration today is a precursor to protests planned for Wednesday at UC San Francisco during the UC Board of Regents meeting.

Protesters said that they expect their numbers today to be largest between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and that there is no official end to the demonstration.

UPDATE, 1:36 p.m.

The group of protesters moved from California Hall to the wall of photographs of students' faces outside of Dwinelle Hall at about 12:30 p.m. There, they attempted to hang several new banners over the wall, depicting people holding up signs criticizing the proposed 8 percent fee increase and the financial strains it would entail.

Demonstrators had been using a microphone and speakers to deliver testimony of how the fee increase would affect them and to direct chants, but at about 1:30 p.m. an officer told them to stop using the speaker system because they were disrupting classes.

Though at one point the group had been as large as 70 people, with officers from both UCPD and Alameda County Sheriff's Office monitoring, there are now about 10 protesters and onlookers with a few officers standing by.


Contact Jeffrey Butterfield at [email protected]

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