Late-Night Trouble at Occupy Cal Protest
Update Thursday: For today’s coverage, click here.
Update 12:45 a.m.: UC Police say they had support Wednesday from Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and Oakland Police Department. Notably absent: the Berkeley police. Why? According to the Oakland Tribune’s Doug Oakley: “Citing excessive force and free speech violations by police during protests in Oakland and at UC Berkeley, the Berkeley City Council this week refused a mutual aid agreement with university police and nixed agreements with other police agencies on regional domestic surveillance.” The rest of the story: Berkeley leaders refuse mutual-aid agreements.
Update 12:40 a.m.: @garonsen “My guess is people are just going to talk and talk and talk and talk until they get tired and go home,” a U Cal cop tells me. “And then come out again tomorrow and do something else.” #occupycal
Update 12:23 a.m.: Getting ready to call it a night here in remote blog headquarters (about two miles northwest of Sproul Plaza). What to look out for in the morning: The Occupy Cal activists have called for a 10 a.m. gathering and for another General Assembly at 6 p.m. Other issues, decisions still under discussion at 1 at 12:30 a.m. …
Update 12:08 a.m.: @abc7newsBayArea: BERKELEY UPDATE:#occupyCal crowd has swelled to about 1,500 and demonstrators are now sitting in front of Sproul Hall. Things are peaceful.
Update 11:57 p.m.: By way of the Daily Cal: UC Police spokesman Lt. Alex Yao says the arrest total for the day so far (three minutes to go) is 39. He says all of the arrestees are being held at Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail. “All of those arrested were arrested on two charges: resisting and delaying a police officer in the performance of their duties, and failure to disperse when given a dispersal order.”
Update 11:55 p.m.: Oakland Tribune live blog says the crowd is thinning some. Meantime, the Daily California quotes ASUC leaders as saying the police are preparing to arrest protesters but that a warning will be issued first.
ABC7-KGO News (which is one of the stations that’s had a helicopter flying endless circles over Berkeley all day and into the night) is reporting that 33 people have been arrested on the Cal campus as UC Police backed by Alameda County Sheriff’s police struggle over a patch of grass outside the university’s main administration building, Sproul Hall.
Shortly before 10 p.m., officers moved in to remove a handful of tents that had been erected as part of the Occupy Cal protest just outside the building. ABC7-KGO quoted police as reporting 23 men and 10 women were taken into custody. As they had in at least two other confrontations earlier in the evening and afternoon, officers jabbed protesters with riot batons. There have been reports since late in the afternoon that some protesters were injured seriously enough by the baton-wielding officers that they needed medical attention.
Occupy Cal supporters put out repeated calls via Twitter for more people to join the crowd after police seized the Sproul Hall tents. Reports on ABC7-KGO and KTVU-Channel 2 estimated the crowd in the hundreds, but even in the TV pictures it was growing as midnight neared. An estimate of 1,000-plus doesn’t seem reckless, just judging from the video. As @Fight4Fairness put it: “This is going to last all night and more numbers are needed.”
Occupy Cal livestream: Livestream
Video shot Wednesday afternoon outside Sproul Hall shows police aggressively beating back student protesters with baton thrusts.
Occupy Cal 11/9/11