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Thousands Gather For Day Of Protests At Cal Campus

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Occupy Cal, UC Berkeley

Students gather at Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley for a ‘Occupy Cal’ protest, November 9, 2011. (CBS)

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BERKELEY (KCBS) – About 2,000 University of California at Berkeley students, workers and faculty members participated in a rally at Sproul Plaza as part of an Occupy Cal “strike” on campus Tuesday – less than a week after police and protesters clashed on campus.

Occupy Oakland protesters were expected to grow the crowd Tuesday afternoon, as part of a scheduled march from Frank Ogawa Plaza to the campus.

PHOTOS: Demonstrations At UC Berkeley

Occupy Cal protesters were also planning to hold a general assembly, at which they are expected to decide whether to make another attempt to set up an encampment on campus.

An effort to erect a camp last week was met by baton-wielding police. Forty people were arrested, as the university sought to uphold a campus ban on camping.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes said Tuesday, “We don’t want a repeat performance of last week.”

She said the university still has a policy of not allowing encampments.

Referring to the goals of the Occupy Cal protesters, Holmes said, “We’ve always supported them and we’re trying to work with them.”

Holmes said there is only a minimal police presence at Sproul Plaza Tuesday afternoon and said, “We hope the day goes well.”

Although the Occupy Cal protesters called for a general strike Tuesday, Holmes said many classes are being held as scheduled. However, she said, many professors were conducting teach-ins outdoors.

Tuesday evening, an annual lecture that honors the memory of Mario Savio, a key member of the 1964 Free Speech Movement that began on campus, was moved to Sproul Plaza from its original location in Pauley Ballroom, which is in the student union across from Sproul Hall.

Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and former U.S. labor secretary, was set to deliver the annual memorial lecture at 8 p.m. on the steps of Sproul Hall.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau on Monday issued a statement about last week’s protests and granted amnesty to the students arrested for attempting to prevent the removal of the occupation’s tents.

Birgeneau also announced the creation of a review board to assess the police response to the protests.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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