Could I be prouder of my alma mater? I think not.

@occupyoakland Pic of the GA at #occupycal at Twitpic

#OccupyCal General Assembly at, like, 11:30pm Wednesday night.  UC Berkeley’s Sproul Steps. (Image from @occupyoakland here).

Obviously unprovoked police violence against peacable assembly took place earlier in the day. And it had the classic impact that unprovoked police violence can have, when witnessed by enough people who are just entitled enough, and just unaccustomed enough to that unprovoked police violence. And just aware enough of what it represents, and just fed up enough about it all.

Aggregation of The Daily Cal (student paper) coverage of Nov 9 Day of Action here; a single article (filed at a yeoman 1:07am Nov 10) here:  “Drawing on Occupy movement, protesters turn out en masse” (Curan Mehra & Mihir Zaveri ).

Really cool sketch of what was happeneing where, when, by Danny O’Brien, re-Tweeted by my über-rad colleague Liz Henry, who hied herself across the bay to live videocast the occupation.

Stuff tends to happen here. Free speech is a fairly passionately held belief here.

One issue this day, among many: affordability of public education.  University of California has hiked tuition nine times in the past ten years; 32% in 2009 and then another 8% in 2010.  Increases of another 8 – 16% are projected in the coming year.  One plan under consideration would institute a series of 16% annual increases over the next four years, to a cumulative total of an 81% increase.   What was once the finest public institution of higher learning in the country, accessible to working class and middle class alike, has been steadily becoming a competitively priced private one, accessible to the wealthy, or anyone else capable of qualifying for and then shouldering debt in the neighborhood of a home loan before the age of 21.  When public institutions cease to be financially accessible to the public, something is broken. Still, all these young people aren’t out here only about tuition hikes. Teach-outs earlier in the day drew much broader connections to the economic disparities at the core of the larger Occupy movement.

One of the 39 arrested, over the course of the day: English Professor Celeste Langan, author of Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom. Apt, no?

After breaking up into small groups to discuss and vote, the General Assembly called for a UC system-wide General Strike Nov. 15.  Twenty nine “stand aside,” 31 against, 569 in favor, 95% approved.

Fiat lux.

 

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