From Berkeley Liberation Radio.

Following Thursday, March 4th’s Berkeley to Oakland march and rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza for the statewide strike and day of action against budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs to public education, a second march commenced. 200-250 students, educators, and activists marched from the close of the rally to the exterior of Mark Yudof’s office for a street dance party. The group then made their way toward the I-880 freeway, where 150-200 elected to enter on foot to shut down traffic.

All traffic slowed to a stop, and no individuals were in in any danger of being struck by automobiles. The riot police pursued them as they hopped over barriers in an attempt to make their way to the Jackson street off-ramp. As police closed in, most of the group sat down in anticipation of being arrested.

The police were violent with many of the protesters, using excessive force with their riot batons. None of the arrested were reported to be carrying weapons of any kind, and none were attempting to attack any of the officers. The police shut down the freeway in both directions, handcuffed and escorted the marchers to the Jackson street offramp where police busses slowly arrived to take the prisoners to North County and Sana Rita Jail facilities.

155 individuals were reported to have been arrested, in addition to some minors who were released into the custody of their parents. Francois Zimany was taken to the hospital after either falling, jumping, or being pushed by police off of the freeway, and is now at home with his family. The group was held over night, and released periodically throughout the day on Friday.

You can learn more by visiting indybay.org. All photos were taken by BLR DJ Paisley Cuttlefish who was among those arrested. She sustained a bad fracture to her elbow after being hit with a police baton.

March 4: Class War

March 2, 2010

Banner drops in Berkeley, from OccupyCA:


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Occupy Everything Fight Everywhere Strike March 4!

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The call has gone out. On March 4th, students, workers and teachers throughout the nation and across the globe will strike. Pre K-12, adult education, community colleges, and state-funded universities will come together in an international Strike and Day of Action to resist the neoliberal destruction of public education in California and beyond.

We stand beside all who wish to transform public education, and we seek to advance the struggle by generalizing the tactic that has, by far, been the strength of the movement: direct action.

In keeping with the spirit of March 4th, we call upon everyone, everywhere, to occupy everything—from collapsing public universities and closed high schools to millions of foreclosed homes. We call on all concerned students and workers to escalate the fight against privatization where they are, in solidarity with the California statewide actions. We envision a network of occupied campuses in multiple states across the nation.

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“Everybody throw your lighters up, tell me y’all finna fight or what?” -The Coup

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It is no secret that the kids are pissed. Since September, we’ve carried out over a dozen building takeovers of varying scale and intensity on California campuses, and during the Days of Action against Cuts and Hikes in November, students in Berkeley and LA actually fought police. In the past few days, evictions of occupied spaces at SFSU and Berkeley by the armed agents of the state and academy can only represent the future of this form of education. Last night, we marched to war and for once didn’t wait for the enemy to strike the first blow.

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Occupied UC Berkeley, 18 November 2009

Being president of the University of California is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under you, but no one is listening.
UC President Mark Yudof

Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor.
Karl Marx

Politics is death that lives a human life.
Achille Mbembe

Yes, very much a cemetery.  Only here there are no dirges, no prayers, only the repeated testing of our threshold for anxiety, humiliation, and debt.  The classroom just like the workplace just like the university just like the state just like the economy manages our social death, translating what we once knew from high school, from work, from our family life into academic parlance, into acceptable forms of social conflict.

Who knew that behind so much civic life (electoral campaigns, student body representatives, bureaucratic administrators, public relations officials, Peace and Conflict Studies, ad nauseam) was so much social death?  What postures we maintain to claim representation, what limits we assume, what desires we dismiss?

And in this moment of crisis they ask us to twist ourselves in a way that they can hear.  Petitions to Sacramento, phone calls to Congressmen—even the chancellor patronizingly congratulates our September 24th student strike, shaping the meaning and the force of the movement as a movement against the policies of Sacramento.  He expands his institutional authority to encompass the movement.  When students begin to hold libraries over night, beginning to take our first baby step as an autonomous movement he reins us in by serendipitously announcing library money.  He manages movement, he kills movement by funneling it into the electoral process.  He manages our social death.  He looks forward to these battles on his terrain, to eulogize a proposition, to win this or that—he and his look forward to exhausting us.
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via Counterpunch – By GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER

Berkeley.

This was bound to be a big week in California regardless, as the threat of a 32 percent tuition and fee increase across the University of California system made a crashing entrance into reality with Wednesday’s vote by the UC Board of Regents. Perhaps the Regents and UC President Mark Yudof expected that their diversionary tactics–lament the crisis and direct blame to Sacramento’s budget cuts–would pay off. But this was not to be.

Aided in no small part by the explosive exposé published by UC Santa Cruz Professor of Political Science Bob Meister, the student, faculty, and workers’ movements the length and breadth of the state were no longer willing to accept privatization disguised as crisis-imposed budget cuts. As Meister explained in no uncertain terms, the proposed (and now passed) tuition increase has nothing whatsoever to do with budget cuts, but the cuts merely provided the pretext for a long-planned drive (and Reaganite wet dream) to privatize public education in California once and for all.
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The Battles of California

November 22, 2009

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Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley occupied this morning after unsuccessful occupation of Capital Projects yesterday. Police entered building at 6 am, pepper-spraying and beating occupiers. Most of the people remain barricaded on 2nd floor, holding strong. Police are threatening to use tear-gas. Close to 50 police in riot gear inside the building beating on the door. . .

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