The atmosphere was tense on the Berkeley campus this afternoon, as cops roamed around in small packs, complete with ziptie cuffs on their belts by the half dozen. Additional officers trailed students on motorbikes, ensuring that the campus was adequately surveilled. Meanwhile, students chalked the area around Sather Gate and in front of California Hall. Given that the Regents decided to pass the 8 % fee hike, change fees to “tuition,” and to add insult to injury, push through a number of executive bonuses and new top-tier hires in a closed door session, we can certainly expect something to pop off this week. On the latter point see this excerpt from an UPTE press release issued earlier today:
Notes released yesterday evening reveal that while the UC Regents discussed fee hikes for students and benefits cuts to staff, they approved a number of salary increases and new positions for UC executives. In one case, a Vice Chancellor was hired at a salary level $132,000 higher than that of his predecessor with an additional $110,000 one-time bonus. Some UC employees find it ironic that one of the approved actions created a new position for a “Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer”.
We stand in solidarity with all of those arrested at the Regents’ meeting yesterday, as well as those harassed and detained at Berkeley and Irvine over the past 48 hours. Likewise, we commend our counterparts at Davis for spearheading a 60-person sit-in in Mrak Hall, the campus’ main administrative building. These are fantastic beginnings; now let’s develop this into a repeat of last fall. Almost one year ago today, students occupied buildings at UCLA, UCSC, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley; but fuck last fall, let’s fight back now! Two, three, many November 20ths!
Courtesy of our friends over at Mobilize Berkeley, here’s a short video demonstrating the level of surveillance on campus yesterday. Pigs from the Alameda Country Sheriff were spotted patrolling the halls of Dwinelle, posted up outside of student meetings and following them when the meeting moves.
Fire Officer Kemper immediately! What other information do we need?!
Rescind both the 8 % and 32 % fee hikes! We are students, not debt slaves!
No bullshit contracts for UC workers! Hands off our pensions!