BERKELEY (KCBS) – Occupy Cal protesters stayed overnight in tents at Sproul Plaza at the University of California at Berkeley campus again Tuesday night after repeated warnings by police to leave their encampment.
UC Berkeley police, who thwarted an attempt to set up an encampment last Wednesday, stood by and didn’t take any immediate action to remove the nearly 20 tents as they were pitched.
While some did pack up and leave, nearly 90 percent of the Occupy campers voted to stay despite the eviction order. Last week, 39 people were arrested during the police raid on the camp. Occupy Cal members have accused police officers of using excessive force during the raid.
UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes said university officials and police would continue to assess the situation on Sproul Plaza before deciding how to respond to the new encampment.
About 3,000 people gathered in Sproul Plaza for the general assembly and to hear a speech by professor of public policy Robert Reich, who served as Secretary of Labor under President Clinton.
”We were out here at midnight and people were playing music on the steps. There was a drum circle going on over there. You know, it’s good to be young ,” said Tyler Carson, a junior at Berkeley. “That’s why it’s appealing to me.”
KCBS’ Bob Melrose & Doug Sovern Report:
Reich was to deliver the 15th annual Mario Savio lecture in honor of the former student who started the free speech movement on the UC Berkeley campus in 1964. Still, some said that Savio wouldn’t identify with the kids dancing on his steps today.
”Mario spoke with one voice, and he listened,” said Cal Student Advisor Faye Lawson, a university observer at the protest. “How many Marios are there standing out here now? See, you can’t hear them.”
Lawson was here at the height of the anti-war movement in Berkeley in the 60’s and finds today’s demonstrators unfocused and undisciplined.
”I think this movement needs direction. They need a speaker and they need to come together as a cohesive group with one voice and one mission,” said Lawson. “Then they can negotiate what they want on the table, what they want from us. What do they want?”
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