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    #OccupyCal and the brave police raid for two tents

    Javier Arbona Nov 9 '11 0

    [with 11/10 updates]

    Police mobilized in force to remove #OccupyCal tents today. A couple of small groups had managed to set up just two tents after UC Berkeley police confiscated most other ones, following a large rally. There were maybe two hundred people congregated to block off the shock troops.

    Then, the Alameda Sheriffs arrived in full military regalia. They assembled near the side of Sproul Hall. They marched in, and set up a human corridor parallel to the building wall, and counted down to zero. The cops then started smacking folks around for no reason, except apparently to rescue those two hostage tents from the occupiers. Someone took a video from the second floor (see below). This is a space, you could say, "owned" by the taxpayers of California. The attack was entirely unprovoked, and if you play the video, you see how they hit folks indiscriminately, including several women of various ages.

    I still am processing so much of what I saw today... At one point during the rally, an awesome, brave splinter group of queer Latina/o students raised its voice to convey that undocumented and/or queer students are often what the group called "the 1% of the 99%." I saw a person come and give them a very angry thumbs down. I was later told it was Prof. Laura Nader, an anthropologist and the sister of the many-a-time presidential candidate. This is identity still unconfirmed, though.

    The police agression was shocking nonetheless, and at the same time not surprising at all. Oddly, after the attack, the police turned back and re-grouped. Why? We get bombarded by emails from the school administration about student "safety," and yet the action seemed entirely gratuitous and abusive. Last year, a cop drew a gun on students at a regents protest at UCSF Mission Bay. All in the name of enforcing "free speech zones," "safety," and "keeping order." All in the name of keeping space clear so that people can go from one private property to another, and not have to be bothered with hypothetical threats of changing anything. And all in the name of *tents*. They're only for officially designated national and state parks—at least the ones that still remain open.

    PS — Six students arrested (in this first round), and one professor who published a book on Wordsworth. After this police raid, more followed late into the night

    Note sign that says "City Planners for Public Education."

    [photos by me]

     

     
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About this Blog

A bezoar is a mass of disparate pieces and materials. For this blog, you will find something somewhere between tweet-length posts and tumblelogging; inchoate thoughts; provocations and assorted scraps that don't fit anyplace else; criticisms of a political and geographic variety; ecoaffective ramblings; spatial imaginaries that don't conform. On Twitter: @AlJavieera; 1/3rd of @Demilit; bookmarked content: @AJFavorite.

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