Berkley strike on November 15 at the Berkley Student Plaza
On November 15, 2011, students built tents on the University of California’s steps with a list of demands they were getting ready to vote upon and hear a speech that was to be given by a UC Berkley professor on warfare.
Shots fired in the Haas School of Business
There was a shooting incident at the Haas School of Business as one student was spotted with a gun which as he raised the police shot him, the man died in hospital later that day.
The shooting was an unfortunate incident that will forever mar what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration.
That was not the only incident to mar the rally as UC Berkley was forced to launch and investigations into the use of excessive force by campus police as the students attempted to block them from taking down their tents that had been erected.
The Occupy Cal’s strike was to get educational officials to roll back tuition fees to the 2009 status
The UC Berkeley Chancellor later issued a statement about the investigation into the accusations of alleged force by campus police and how the university leadership had taken note of the students demands as well as sympathizing and sharing in the student’s anger and frustrations over the ever-increasing student fees and the heavy burden it was putting on their families.
The Chancellor also called out to the Sacramento political leaders to join him and the student representatives in a public forum for a debate on public educations future.
The Chancellor expressed his deep concerns over the past three years and the sharp reductions in the funding of education which directly related to the very steep hike in tuition fees, the need to lay off various staff faculty and cut back on student enrollments.
The unfortunate shooting incident did not deter Robert Reich a UC Berkeley professor and former U.S. Labor Secretary delivering the famous speech once given by the well-known Californian activist and one of the first leaders of the Berkeley Free Speech movement, Mario Savio’s speech on the same steps as he did some fifty odd years ago.
As the Occupy Cal students set up their occupation around the universities Sproul Hall they were joined by Occupy Oakland demonstrators who took to marching the five miles to Berkeley and were heard to be chanting “Here comes Oakland” along the way to join in the protest and listen to Robert Reich deliver the infamous speech.
Despite the alleged allegations of campus police use of excessive force and the shooting incident on the day over 2000 students and demonstrators too to standing their ground to get there demands heard and needs to be met.