BERKELEY, California – On Tuesday afternoon, students at UC Berkeley chained their necks to the 2 doors of the 6th floor of Eshelman Hall. Police are unable to enter the floor without causing severe injury to demonstrators. Initially, some 40 students gathered outside to support the action. The demonstration is calling attention to the low enrollment of students of color and austerity measures impacting students of color being employed at the university. It appears this occupation is not strictly related to #occupycal demonstrators who pitched tents and faced police brutality a little over a year ago. The action coincides with the appointment of a new chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, to the campus.
5:30pm – Police appear to be unable to enter the 6th floor.
5:40pm – The occupiers have released a list of 4 demands including: amnesty to demonstrators, the restoration of the Multicultural Student Development (MSD) to its former structure, increase the MSD budget, increase funding for recruitment and retention services.
5:50pm – It appears some administrators have entered the building to negotiate. The police has otherwise restricted access to the building.
6:05pm – Negotiations have reportedly fell through, however the occupation continues.
Demonstrators outside spell out of “SOS” with candles.
6:25pm – Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri [and Dean Poullard] continues talks with some students. Watch livestream here.
6:40pm – Crowd outside has increased. Negotiations appear to continue. The student newspaper, the DailyCal, reports that students actually drilled their restraining locks to the doors. The demands can be found re-posted in full here.
7:00pm – Reportedly, NLG legal observers have been denied access to witness potential police action inside the building.
9:15pm – Negotiations have ended and the Eshelman occupiers have decided to exit the building. The student demonstrators have been promised a “transitional review team” and amnesty for their actions.
9:40pm – The occupation has ended.