Live Blog: Protesters stage hunger strike outside California Hall

Photo: Protesters against the consolidation of the departments of gender and women's studies, African American studies and ethnic studies began a hunger strike Tuesday afternoon.
Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff
Protesters against the consolidation of the departments of gender and women's studies, African American studies and ethnic studies began a hunger strike Tuesday afternoon.


Read the hunger strikers' demands and the administration's response »



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Alisha Azevedo, J.D. Morris, Aaida Samad and Amruta Trivedi of The Daily Californian reporting from the field.

For real-time updates, check twitter.com/dailycal.

8:48 p.m.

The protesters are still meeting in small groups and should return to California Hall within 30 minutes to an hour to meet with the hunger strikers who are currently sitting on the lawn, according to Amaral. At that time, the protesters will have a private meeting with the hunger strikers and then make a statement about their plans.

8:30 p.m.

The group of strikers has not returned to announce their plans.

7:00 p.m.

According to the statement from Basri and Hesse, the offer for strikers to meet with the administration is still good, but the strikers are encouraged to not stay overnight.

"In the meantime, you are able to exercise free speech and protest, but are also bound by the campus rules on time, place and manner ... These rules preclude overnight lodging or camping," the statement reads.

The administration will be contacting the strikers tomorrow to arrange for a meeting to discuss their demands.

"We understand that you do not agree with the reasoning behind some of these reductions, and we are happy to have further informed discussions about the process and rationale," the statement reads. "Our hope is to understand one another better, given that we have the same ultimate goals for equity and inclusion."

According to Amaral, the protesters have broken up into smaller groups to "hash out plans more fully" and will return to announce further plans.

6:30 p.m.

Basri came out of California Hall and delivered a letter to protesters in response to their earlier demands.

5:04 p.m.

Campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said that there will be no meeting between the administration and the protesters today.

"We are aware of their concerns and will be addressing them through the group's representative," she said.

4:38 p.m.

According to UCPD spokesperson Lt. Alex Yao, there are currently about 20 protesters outside California Hall and that UCPD is monitoring the situation.

"The main thing to ensure that the rights of all are observed, including the demonstrators' rights to demonstrate and express concerns," he said.

4:09 p.m.

Though the 4 p.m. deadline has passed, the protesters have not decided whether they will meet with the administration.

Amaral said they will most likely not meet today, but that the strikers plan on staying outside California Hall.

4:00 p.m.

LeGrande came out of California Hall and is waiting while the strikers decide whether they will meet with the administration.

3:48 p.m.

A group of about 20 from the YMCA Homies Empowerment program in Oakland, a group that promotes awareness of gang violence, made signs to support the strikers, with slogans such as "I'm hungry for education" and "Support the hunger strike for Ethnic Studies."

3:25 p.m.

LeGrande said the strikers have until 4 p.m. to decide whether they will meet with the administration.

3:20 p.m.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry LeGrande came out of California Hall to address the strikers.

He said that he cannot answer any of the strikers' demands, but asked if three to four of the strikers wanted to come inside and have a meeting with administrators.

According to LeGrande, those in the meeting in addition to himself would include Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri and Dean of the Social Sciences Division of the College of Letters and Science Carla Hesse.

Amaral said they are waiting for more protesters to come before they will meet with the administration.

3:00 p.m.

According to sophomore Marco Amaral - one of the nine protesting - the strikers are protesting staff reductions in the Ethnic Studies Department, including two he says will happen Friday.

2:45 p.m.

A group of about 30 onlookers, including some from the coalition, has gathered outside California Hall.

2:32 p.m.

A statement released by the protesters details their four demands of the administration, including the reinstatement of staff positions cut by organizational simplification under Operational Excellence, ending Operational Excellence, supporting ACR 34 - a legislative resolution in support of Ethnic Studies in California - and "publicly (acknowledging) the unfulfilled promise of the creation of a Third World College at UC Berkeley."

2:20 p.m.

After a group of about 100 protesters gathered in front of Sather Gate Tuesday afternoon to protest the consolidation of three social sciences departments, a separate group of nine protesters gathered outside California Hall and said they will be staging a hunger strike until their demands are met.

Members of the Coalition for Gender and Women's Studies, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies gathered in front of Sather Gate at 1 p.m. to protest the planned restructuring of staff and cutting of work hours in the three departments.

Tags: CALIFORNIA HALL, COALITION FOR GENDER AND WOMEN'S STUDIES, AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES AND ETHNIC STUDIES


Allie Bidwell is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]



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