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November 11, 2011

Occupy UC Berkeley vs. UC Berkeley Riot Police: How to Carefully Fold a Tent


On Wednesday, I did a post describing how the common camping tent has become the signature icon of the Occupy movement. Given the violence that broke out on Wednesday, this almost dainty, but widely distributed photo is as misleading as it is an affront to Cal students who minutes earlier were attacked by campus police.

Berkeley Occupy violence 2

The fact campus riot police (can’t believe I would use such a term) would present themselves to the cameras carefully folding up tents as if they were parents of these students teaching them how to fold hospital corners and making their beds demonstrates, from a propaganda perspective, that violence takes many forms.

What’s really classy, by the way, is that the LAT ran the photo on their Crime blog (currently found in LA Now). Talking about “crimes” in the larger sense (without wading into issues such as the draconian tuition increases and cutbacks to the UC, California state university and community college systems over the past few years), here’s the video. Of course, these photo from the SF Chronicle (which apparently didn’t hit the wires) also provide an interesting counterpoint:

Berkeley Occupy photos 2a

SF Gate Berkeley Occupy violence 1

And then, there’s the real fly-in-the-ointment, which is the (ongoing) challenge of the campus Occupy movement to the University of California’s “no-encampment” policy.

(photo 1: Karl Mondon / Contra Costa Times caption: Riot police hold back protesters as tents are dismantled during an Occupy Berkeley protest at UC Berkeley. photo 2 : Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle caption: Young Occupy Cal protesters clash with UC Berkeley police officers and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. photo 3, 4: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle caption: University police officers confiscate a tent from an Occupy Cal protester on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. Students are angry over soaring tuition fees.)


  • Anonymous

    An individual photo can reveal truth and/or lie. When you put together a sequence of photos the complications multiply geometrically.I used to show students a photo of a horse’s ass and immediately after that a photo of Bush.

    The way the police behave in these situations shows the damage being done by the militarization of law enforcement. Reminds me of the notorious “Stanford Prison Experiment.”

  • Anonymous

    Students occupy against unnecessary increases in tuition in California.

    . I love University
    of California (UC) having been student & lecturer. But today I am concerned
    that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply
    disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President
    Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition
    increases. Paying more is not a better education.

    Californians are
    reeling from 19% unemployment (includes: those forced to work part time; those
    no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those
    who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty
    wages must reflect California’s
    ability to pay, not what others are paid.

    Current pay increases
    for generously paid University
    of California Faculty is
    arrogance. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!

    Paying more is not a
    better education. UC Berkeley(# 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the
    national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most
    expensive public university.

    UC President Yudof,
    Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed
    cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions,
    increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the
    time between sabbaticals, cutting & freezing pay & benefits for
    chancellors & reforming pensions & the health benefits.

    They said such faculty
    reforms “would not be healthy for UC”. Exodus of faculty, administrators? Who
    can afford them and where would they go?

    We agree it is far
    from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university
    system & the state to stop cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business
    as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak
    economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians’ income.

    There is no
    question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust
    gap with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California’s ability to pay. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau is ousted.


    Opinions? Email the UC Board
    of Regents  [email protected]




  • Anonymous

    Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police report to the chancellor and the
    campus police take direction from the chancellor. University of California
    (UC) campus chancellors vet their campus police protocols.  Birgeneau allowed pepper spray and use of
    batons to be included in his campus police protocols.

    Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police use brutal baton jabs on students
    protesting increases in tuition. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis
    Chancellor Katehi are in dereliction of their duties.

    Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor need to quit or be fired for permitting the
    brutal outrages on students protesting tuition increases.

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents [email protected]

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