Occupy Cal encampment slowly growing again

November 17, 2011 1:23:15 AM PST
The tent city is slowly growing and now includes at least 18 tents and more occupiers seem to be trickling in. They are also more entrenched with food service, first aid tents, couches, and even pianos for entertainment.

UC Berkeley said it would strictly enforce its policy against any kind of encampment. But the situation at the university with the Occupy Cal movement is changing moment by moment and the protesters are getting some big support from labor unions.

While Occupy Cal supports were busy making Sproul Plaza their home away from home, campus police made several verbal attempts to get them out.

"I am ordering you to remove all tents and other camping equipment," officers announced to the protesters.

They were unsuccessful. In fact, protesters were so sure police would not raid the encampment Wednesday morning that many left on buses to join other protesters in a march in San Francisco.

"We're strong enough that we can have an Occupy Cal encampment with enough people to hold that space while we can also have hundreds or even thousands of people converging in San Francisco," labor leader Jennifer Tucker said.

Several labor organizations paid for their transportation.

University spokesperson Dan Mogulof admitted enforcing that policy Wednesday was not at the very top of their list. The university was conducting an investigation into a shooting at the Haas School of Business on Tuesday in which university police shot a student who was armed with a gun. The student later died.

"Obviously today we have another priority and that is to investigate the shooting that happened here on campus and that's what we will be focusing on. In terms of the encampment, the policy against the eccampment still stands, it's been in effect for a long time," Mogulof said.

"I decided to stay because I think it's important to set up a space where people cancome, talk, discuss and stay politically informed and politically active is important," student Froilan Cifuentes said.

A high profile camper and activist, Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers, joined the occupation Tuesday night.

Protesters remain wary, believing that a confrontation with police could be on the horizon. About 18 tents remain at Sproul Plaza.


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