UCI – November 24

by

IRVINE – Students at UC Irvine are rallying at their main administration building. According to the facebook event, over 2,100 people are attending (it should be noted that facebook is typically inaccurate). Reports from on the ground will periodically be updated. Here are the event details at occupyUCI:

The UC has voted to raise tuition by 32%! Students were brutally assaulted at UCLA for using their right of freedom of speech! Cuts are coming from the bottom not the top, while the administrators are getting raises workers are getting fired and student class sizes get larger. It is time that we as students come together in solidarity to tell the UC it’s our UC!!!

Come out and hear stories from those affected and find out what we can do from here! Please invite at least 10 others. This is our time in history will we live up to the responsibility?

We stress that this is a peaceful rally, however, we as citizens of the United States can and will exercise of First amendment Rights of free speech!

Updates:

12:33pm – Riot cops surrounding UCI admin hall to keep out students

12:45pm – Several hundred students are marching around campus, going through classes garnering support.

12:50pm – Approximately 500 students walking out!

1:00pm – 10 police officers in riot gear are following the students rallying support/marching through out campus

1:12pm – close to 1000 people are now outside UCI’s main administration building

1:14pm – hundreds of students are still marching around campus clearing out lectures!

1:22pm – riot police have barricades outside Aldrich Hall (administration building). Students are trying to get in.

1:24pm – riot police appear to have tazers.

1:25pm – students chanting, “We want Drake!” (the chancellor of UCI). No reports of tazer use.

1:29pm – police are carrying handguns!

1:48pm – students are being pepper sprayed. The building is on lockdown, no one can enter.

2:10pm – 2 students were let in to speak with administrators. At least two students have been pepper sprayed. The building is still locked down. Students are chanting, “whose university?! Our university!”

2:14pm – No meeting is held. The chancellor promises to hold a meeting, but will not state when.

2:31pm – According to one source, numbers have reduced. Another source states that a graduate student has been dragged away from the premises. (note: contact with on the ground source has stopped… updates will be posted as they come)

The OC Register is saying there were 300 students protesting.

Here are videos from gmangoman, one & the other .

One student was arrested. Students outside responded by shouting, “free John!”

26 Responses to “UCI – November 24”

  1. Anon-Thinker Says:

    Just a note here guys: Police officers will always carry tazers and handguns, even during a ‘peaceful’ protest. This is standard, AFAIK.

    Try not to make too much of it. Its not as if they are planning to cull the protesters. They are doing their jobs, against a far larger horde of angry students. Give them some credit, at least.

  2. Ravind Kumar Says:

    So, just a quick fact-check.

    There are less than 200 people next to the lower-level entrance to Aldrich Hal. Less than 200. Not 1000. Less than 200. There are many students passing by, or taking a look, but none sticking around to ‘protest.’

    I asked several policemen at the main entrance to Aldrich. They were all surprised or confused at reports of pepper spray – no such incidents occured in that area, as far as they know. It might be elsewhere on campus, but not in front of Aldrich Hall.

    Students do not appear to be attempting to enter Aldrich Hall. They are speaking and rallying at the lower-level entrance near Starbucks.

    • james Says:

      want an even quicker fact check, there is a video on youtube of mace to the face at Aldridge hall on november 24th. You probably shouldn’t use the term “fact” or “fact(s)” when all you have your opinion. No opinion is fact, but that you tube video might help you out.

  3. Paul Says:

    Why in the world do riot police need handguns? This is sad.

  4. anon Says:

    don’t negotiate. concede nothing, occupy everything…

  5. Hemang Says:

    CHECK OUT MY VIDEOS I RECORDED LIVE AT UCIRVINE! SPREAD THE LINKS PLEASE!

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-361147

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-361146

  6. B Says:

    Ravind, if you’re talking about the lower entrance to Aldrich Hall then you’re looking at the people who stayed AFTER THE RALLY ENDED. So I’d say that’s still pretty good for Irvine. At it’s peak (an admittedly short peak) there were easily 500 people just in the space where I was, and I could see many more in both directions.
    As for the pepper spray reports, I didn’t see any of that, nor did anyone around me. If it’s true it should be reported, but I really hope people aren’t just making things up.

  7. B Says:

    Well I was in view of the cops the whole time and didn’t see that, nor did I run across anyone who had.

  8. Mry Says:

    Pepper spray WAS used. I was amongst the crowd who initially gathered on the lower level of aldrich hall and saw as at least one officer sprayed a student.

  9. Anteater24 Says:

    I was there from 2 to 3:10. Here’s what I experienced:

    around 2: About 200 students are protesting between Aldrich Hall and the Bookstore. Yelling for Chancellor Drake to hold a Forum before the quarter ends.

    2:30: Two guys are talking right behind me. I see the cops start to walk behind us. I turn to look behind me and notice the two students huddling close, possibly exchanging something. Then, the cops pull both of them away, and they handcuff one and take him away. Protesters take out cameras and scatter away from the rally leader and towards the cops. Shouts heard, “Shame on You” chanted.

    2:33ish: Protest leaders attempt to reunite the crowd and emphasize that this is a PEACEFUL protest. Chants continue

    2:35ish: Find out the guy arrested is John, one of the greenshirts who was supposed to stay on the outskirts of the protest to keep everyone in check. Still unknown the reason for arrest. Find out that he has been taken INSIDE the Administration Building. Shouts and chants to “Free John”

    2:50ish: Protest moves out towards the Ring Road Entrance of Aldrich Hall. Cops barricading the doors as we unite with the Black Student Union already there. Chants continue, as Protest leaders announce that the Workers’ Protest will meet us.

    3:05: UC Workers protest makes it around ring road and unites with student protest. Chants of “Same enemy, same fight! Workers, students must unite!” Students cheer on the workers

    3:10: Older Hispanic female worker makes a speech. “Me duele mi corazon”- my heart hurts. Tells how her husband has worked for the UC for 20 years and how the UC is cutting the hard workers who clean all the rooms and work for all of us. Cheers of support.

    I had to leave after that, so hopefully we get more updates.

  10. MN Says:

    I would just add to what B says above (all of which I agree with) that the OC Register is a joke of a newspaper that is completely hostile to any and all collective action, so what they say is not to be trusted. They have consistently underreported the numbers of people showing up for our actions all year, but most notably for the September 24 walk-out. I think 500 is about right, and for Irvine, that is amazing. Si se puede!

  11. B Says:

    By the way, a helmet does not a riot police make. These are NOT riot police.

  12. Ravind Kumar Says:

    Agreed w/ B on that – and I did show up late, but various members of my class also said that they didn’t see anything close to the 1000 members reported. This is, of course, not counting passerby’s or gawkers as the protesters.

    The police blotter or police station should have reports of any police action against students, by law, once again AFAIK. Rather than stooping to rumor and by-ear perspectives, it would be best to use hard evidence. And please, lets not throw the ‘corrupt police officials’ tag in there – UCIPD consists of a good bunch of men and women, and it would be insulting to them to throw that tag on their just to avoid doing legwork and factfinding.

    As for the handgun comment – think of it like this. It doesn’t matter how peaceful a protest starts. It can get violent. And if even one person sneaks a firearm or weapon into a protest, it can get deadly. Its not above imagination nor history for these things to happen.

  13. anon Says:

    what is with all of these apologists for the police? UCI finally stepping it up – i wonder what kind of shady shit the cops pulled on john !

  14. flagedgefray Says:

    Anyone who would work for the police, in or out of uniform, is a thug. The job of the police, as peaceful protestors know, is to maintain the status quo through both actual violence and the threat of violence. Individual officers can be nice people just like anyone else, but the role of the prison system (including LEOs on the ground) is not to foster any kind of peace. Considering UCPD’s recent history, and the systematic nature of police brutality that stretches back for decades if not centuries (even though each incident is belittled by treating it as isolated)–not to mention the intrinsic allure of law enforcement work for criminals who would otherwise be on the wrong side of the “blue wall”–our safest bet is to assume they will use violence on peaceful protestors until proven otherwise.

  15. B Says:

    I’m not an apologist for the police, but I’m not an alarmist when unnecessary either. And I’ll repeat, these were NOT police in riot gear. Anyone who’s ever actually seen police in riot gear can tell you that. If you want to play pretend revolution that’s one thing, but if you want real revolution get your facts straight.

  16. John Says:

    I’m going to write a statement later tonight about my arrest, and I can’t go into much detail without speaking to a lawyer first. To respond to “Anteater24” I was talking to a reporter from the New U when I was arrested, actually about the pepper spraying incident from earlier. Which I can confirm did happen, as I damn near had an asthma attack as the cops were dragging me. The formal charges were: resisting arrest, and attempted vandalism. Officer Nelson explained to me that the vandalism charge was for allegedly banging on the glass doors when we first went down to the basement entrance. Why did they single me out? Well… take a guess. Before they arrested me, they knew who I was and what I do; and even though 10+ students were banging on the doors and windows, they went after me.

    As for the numbers… look at the videos posted here! It’s more likely close to 700 if not more. The crowd around the downstairs entrance was maybe 100 at one point, but that was the after party.

    Rip ’em eaters!

  17. Anteater24 Says:

    Alright, John, thanks for clarifying that. It went by so fast. But from what I saw when they were taking you away, you were NOT resisting arrest. You were yelling ‘why are you arresting me?” etc, but definitely not resisting arrest.

  18. k7cycas Says:

    wow, I gotta say you Irvine kids don’t do a lot of flaming… comments about our UCSC actions usually are 80% assholes.

  19. Ravind Kumar Says:

    Apathy is a very sad thing. You should see the comments on the OCweekly boards – the ‘taxpayers’ seem to think we are all devils, paying out of mommy and daddy’s pockets, whining after loosing our precious education.

    *sighs* its a shit storm one way or another. But as long as we are pointing fingers, shouldn’t we point at the legislatures who, year after year, have allowed this financial crisis to build up?

  20. spaceattack Says:

    Glad you’re ok john!

  21. ingrid Says:

    yay for the action! can’t wait to help out with the library next week! whoo-hoo!

  22. Julio Soriano Says:

    I wanted to post the video of our college protest (Napa Valley College). Here’s the link:

  23. Occupations & Struggles in California OccupYOGA.com Says:

    […] 24, 2009 – Students at UC Irvine surround Aldrich Hall in mass (~700-1000), and disperses later. One student is arrested at UCI. Student at UC […]

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