Occupations & Struggles in California
(Surrounding: Public Education, Police Brutality, Revolt, Labor, Anti-Austerity, Anti-Capitalism, Militant Feminism, Anti-Racism, etc.)
– 2009 –
September 24, 2009 – Students at UC Santa Cruz occupy the Graduate Student Commons (and ends a week later) during a day of action across the state. [No demands; statement] Students at UC Berkeley also attempt to occupy a building, but without success.
October 9, 2009 – Study-in at UC Berkeley anthropology library lasting 24 hrs
October 15, 2009 – Students at UC Santa Cruz occupy the Humanities 2 Buildings for a period of several hours. They leave without police knowledge. One student is arrested and another is also charged. [No demands; statement]
October 21, 2009 – CSU Fresno holds sit-in.
November 13, 2009 – Students at UC Santa Cruz hold a study-in at the Science & Engineering Library, which ends the following day at 4pm (~23 hours)
(week of November 17-19 timeline here)
November 18, 2009 – Students at UC Santa Cruz occupy the Kresge Town Hall to create an organizing space against budget cuts. 14 students were arrested at UCLA, some involved in a sit-in disrupting the Regent’s Meeting. [UCB attempted occupation communique here]
November 19, 2009 – Students at UCLA occupy Campbell Hall & rename it Carter-Huggins Hall (at 12:15am). 2 are arrested at UCLA. Students at UC Santa Cruz occupy the main administrative building, Kerr Hall. This occupation ends 4 days later on November 22. Students at UC Davis occupy Mrak Hall (UCD main administration building), 52 students are arrested. [Kerr Hall 35 demands: english, español] [Carter-Huggins Hall had no demands]
November 20, 2009 – Students at UC Berkeley occupy Wheeler Hall for 12 hours, heavy police brutality ensues (41 students arrested, then cited and released). Another 3 students arrested earlier that day. One student required reconstructive surgery on her hand as some of her fingers limply dangled, some occupiers beaten, several individuals outside beaten. Students at UCD enter Dutton Hall to hold a sit-in but are later dispersed. Students a CSU Fresno holds another library sit-in that lasts until the next morning. [Kerr Hall 7 consolidated demands: english, español]
November 22, 2009 – Kerr Hall occupation ends (images). Students at UCD call for daily study-ins at Mrak Hall (each ending at 5pm).
November 23, 2009 – 100 to 150 students enter the UC office of the president and hold sit-in. They speak with Yudof. The sit-in ends around 6pm, no arrests.
November 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 Davis sit-in Mrak Hall again, the doors are unlocked. [Mrak Hall demands here]
December 5, 2009 – In response to a publicly announced library occupation at UC Irvine, the administrators leave the doors open 24hrs a day.
December 10, 2009 – Students occupying the SFSU business building (see above) and some outside are arrested at 4am. 23 occupiers and 10 outside protesters arrested outside (total: 33). Protesters block traffic on highway 1/19th avenue in San Francisco, demanding that the arrested individuals are cited and released, they win. (images 1)
December 11, 2009 – 66 or more individuals inside Wheeler Hall (UCB) during live week are awoken and arrested without any dispersal warnings by the police. The dean of students was inside the building directing the police. Later in the evening, a hip-hop concert starts at 9pm, it ends at 11pm and 70-80 people participate in a direct action, leading to destroying property at the Chancellor’s Mansion on UC Berkeley Campus. 8 people are then arrested randomly while leaving the scene.
– 2010 –
January 15, 2010 – Eviction of the California Valley Miwok Tribe delayed for another 30 days.
January 19, 2010 – Reclaim Kroeber Hall event. Students reserve the hall for 3 days, however, do not stay overnight.
January 20, 2010 – Attempted occupation by university students of Hibernia National Bank building in San Francisco, CA.
January 28, 2010 – Dance party at UC Santa Cruz titled, “life sucks. let’s dance.” At its peak, over 150 people show up. Admin present taking photos until around 11pm.
January 30, 2010 – Benefit party for occupation arrestees ends (next day) with 11 people arrested.
February 5, 2010 – Students at UC Davis hold a weekend long study-in at the Shields Library. A few days after the event announcement, the administrators respond similarly to UCI’s library study-in in December, and they leave the library open 24hrs a day for the weekend.
February 11, 2010 – Students at City College of San Francisco hold a study-in, extending library hours by 3 extra hours.
February 12, 2010 – At UC Santa Cruz, a small crowd of people danced their way through campus, stopping in classrooms and disrupting business as usual.
February 19, 2010 – UC Irvine holds a library study-in at Langson Library. Police force participants out at 11pm; a dance party ensues.
February 25, 2010 – Dance Party at UC Berkeley moves to and occupies Durant Hall. After an hour, the dance party descends downtown. The party turns into a small riot. A handful of Berkeley Police arrive and batter protesters while trying to extinguish a dumpster on fire. The small riot lasts for over an hour leading to burnt dumpsters, trash cans, and windows broken at corporate chains.
February 26, 2010 – A sit-in at the UCSD Chancellor’s office lasts for several hours in response to a noose being found in the library the night before amidst racial tensions from the week before. At UCSC a roving dance party takes place, travelling through five colleges and seizing multiple buildings.
March 3, 2010 – Students take over multi-story Humanities building at CSU Fullerton, barricading with multiple dumpsters from the inside. However, police infiltrate the building via underground tunnels. Occupiers cited and released.
March 4, 2010 – Massive student walkouts/strikes throughout U.S. CSU Fresno occupies main administration building for several hours. UCLA holds a sit-in. UC Santa Cruz shuts down the entire campus for more than 12 hours. Full story here.
April 14, 2010 – Occupation attempt at SFSU results in 2 arrests. 50+ students sit-in at UCD Mrak Hall.
May 1, 2010 – May Day marchers in San Francisco attempt to occupy a closed high school, but it’s dispersed and some are arrested.
May 3, 2010 – 20-30 UC Berkeley students begin hunger strike outside California Hall (administration building).
May 10, 2010 – The UCB students hunger striking are told to disperse by the police. 3 of the hunger strikers also begin a dry-strike.
May 12, 2010 – After 10 days and with hopes to make gains in future meetings with Chancellor Birgeneau, UC Berkeley students end their hunger strike.
May 18, 2010 – Students UC Davis hold a tent city. Students at UC Santa Cruz organize a small walk-out.
July 9, 2010 – The verdict for Johannes Mehserle, the police officer who executed Oscar Grant, is released. Thousands take to the streets in downtown Oakland, and later in the evening a riot breaks out.
August 22, 2010 – Students at CSU Monterey Bay banner drop on CSUMB presidential barbecue.
August 27, 2010 – The first dance party of the new school year reminiscent of last year’s occupations occurs at San Francisco State University.
September 24, 2010 – A dance party as UC Santa Cruz is attacked and shutdown by police, leading to three arrests.
October 7, 2010 – Day of Action for Public Education. Largest rally around 1500 at UC Berkeley. Sit-in at UC Berkeley, Doe Library, and UC Davis Mrak Hall (main admin hall).
November 5, 2010 – The former BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle, responsible for the murder of Oscar Grant was sentenced to 2 years in prison, but with a sizable amount of time served. In the evening, protesters gathered in downtown Oakland. As the rally ended, a group of 300-400 protesters split off and marched towards Fruitvale station where Oscar Grant was killed. Around halfway there, the police blocked the protesters and summarily arrested all of them.
– 2011 –
March 2, 2011 – National Day of Action for Public Education. Students at UCSC holds a sit-in at the Ethnic Resource Center. Students at UC Berkeley hold a sit-in at Wheeler Hall, 17 arrested that evening.
March 3, 2011 – 9 students chain themselves together on top of Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley, on a ledge near the roof. After 8 hours of negotiations, the administration finally concedes a meeting with the chancellor and have all charges against students for participation in occupations and budget cut protests to be offered just a probation. Demonstrators come down peacefully and join a crowd of hundreds in rejoice.
April 13, 2011 – Some 10,000 students protest across the CSU system against $500 million in budget cuts handed down from Gov. Jerry Brown. At CSU Sacramento, students occupy Sacramento Hall. They are evicted by riot police at 3:24am on Saturday morning.
June 3, 2011 – The first Bay of Rage, Anti-cut protest occurs in Oakland, California.
June 12, 2011 – The police officer who murdered Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale station in Oakland was released after spending only a little over a year in jail.
July 1, 2011 – Pelican bay prisoners begin a hunger strike that sweeps the rest of the CA prison system, involving at least 6600 hunger strikers in all.
July 3, 2011 – Charles B. Hill is shot and killed at the Civic Center BART station, while he was intoxicated. The BART police responsible for the shooting claimed Hill was wielding a knife. Protests ensue, particularly on July 11th, where several SF BART stations were closed due to disruptive demonstrations.
July 12, 2011 – The CSU Trustees raise tuition by 12% on top of the approximately 10% increase already scheduled for Fall 2011.
July 14, 2011 – The UC Regents vote to increase the tuition by 9.6% on top of the 8% increase already scheduled for Fall 2011.
July 16, 2011 – A black man evading the fare to ride MUNI buses is confronted by police. He runs and the police shoot and kill him near 3rd and Oakdale. Police claim that the man was carrying a handgun and was firing at the police. However, several witnesses claimed that the shooting victim had no gun and was simply trying to escape.
August 2011 – After a series of protests around BART and MUNI, the BART shuts down cell phone service to disrupt an alleged protest that never materialized, causing an uproar from free speech activists. The internet phenomena known as Anonymous calls for protests in response, calling it #opBART. A protest was held every Monday for the next several weeks against cutting off cellphone service to disrupt free speech and police brutality.
September 17, 2011 – The “Occupy Wall Street” movement kicks off in NYC and in SF.
September 22, 2011 – Around 200 students at UC Berkeley take over the lobby of Tolman Hall. Police kick occupiers out by around 9pm. Emergence of the book bloc tactic in CA, inspired by Italian student/anti-austerity movement.
October 1, 2011 – The “OccupyLA” event kicks off in Pershing Square in Los Angeles.
October 6, 2011 – The “OccupySC” event kicks off in San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz.
October 25, 2011 – #OccupyOakland is evicted at 4:30am. Demonstrators return in the evening to protest the eviction, marching deep with 2-5,000 people. #OccupySanJose was also attacked by police.1
October 26, 2011 – #OccupyOakland some 1500 voted at a general assembly to ratify a citywide General Strike on November 2nd, 2011; the vote passes by a 96% majority. #Occupations throughout the US respond with announcement of solidarity actions and solidarity strikes.
November 2, 2011 – The general strike called by #OccupyOakland draws between 20-50,000 demonstrators.
November 9, 2011 – Statewide day of action for refunding public higher education in California. Students, teachers, and workers throughout the state demonstrate. Several are arrested in LA blocking major intersections. Students at UC Berkeley try to set up an encampment in the manner of #OccupyWallStreet, however cops brutalize demonstrators leading to at least one hospitalization. UCB students call for a statewide strike the following week, on Tuesday November 15.
November 15, 2011 – Berkeley holds a strike, where thousands gather at Sproul Plaza for a day of rallies, marches, teach-outs, and general assemblies. OccupyOakland marches to Berkeley in solidarity, and between 3-7000 meet on the steps of Sproul Hall for a General Assembly at 5pm where they decide to set up tents again. Meanwhile, OccupySD holds their largest GA yet with 1200 people. OccupySF has at least one of their satellite encampments attacked by the police. UC Davis students take over the lobby of Mrak Hall, the main administrative building on campus, and later U-Lock the doors open. SFSU students took over the lobby of their main administrative building, but left by 7pm.
November 16, 2011 – As the UC Regents decided not to meet during this week, demonstrations planned for UCSF were diverted to the financial district of San Francisco. A march took place from #OccupySF, ending up at a Bank of America branch, which was taken over by hundreds of demonstrators. Demonstrators were later arrested, cited and released. Also, Mrak Hall was raided by police around 2:30pm, but reportedly none were arrested. The CSU Board of Trustees also met, and were disrupted temporarily when a scuffle broke out between police and demonstrators; 4 were arrested.
November 17, 2011 – #OccupyUCLA forms in a quad at UCLA. Similarly, #OccupyUCDavis forms. #OccupyLA marched and demonstrated at BofA, leading to 72 arrests.
November 18, 2011 – #OccupyUCLA is raided by police leading to 14 arrests. #OccupyUCDavis is also raided, but police fail to evict the mass number of people; 10 arrested at UC Davis.
November 19, 2011 – #OccupyOakland organizes a day of action against police repression and march to coincide with taking over a new space at 19th and Telegraph. As a result of the previous Sunday raid on Oscar Grant Plaza, the only Oakland occupation was in Snow Park.
November 20, 2011 – The 19th and Telegraph #OccupyOakland occupation is raided at 8am by around 30 police in riot gear.
November 21, 2011 – Some 10,000 or more students gather at UC Davis in response to the brutality displayed by the UC police on Friday. The General Assembly calls for a strike on the following monday, November 28.
November 28, 2011 – Protests against police brutality occur at multiple UC campuses. At UCSC, students shut down the Hahn student services building starting early in the morning. At UC Davis, students hold teach-ins in their quad, then occupy Dutton Hall in solidarity with students at UCSC. UCSC students respond by entering and occupying Hahn. Dutton Hall occupiers vote to stay for the following 2 weeks.
November 29, 2011 – UCSC students leave Hahn in order to allow a few crucial services to continue running, including the Disability Resources. For the first time, #OccupyLA was raided. Some 1,400 police officers were organized by the city to evict the occupiers.
November 30, 2011 – Santa Cruz occupiers take over an empty bank in downtown. Occupiers and support successfully defend the occupation from a police raid.
December 3, 2011 – SC Bank Occupation Ends [Press Release].
December 5, 2011 – UC San Diego students successfully reclaim a closed library to allow students to study during Finals.
December 12, 2011 – West Coast Port Shutdown commences. Several ports are disrupted temporarily across the West Coast. Shutdowns of note include the Port of Portland, Seattle, and Oakland — where several berths were shut down at each location for several hours. Additionally, some demonstrators shutdown commercial railroads in Bellingham, WA in solidarity with longshore workers in Longview, WA & OccupyOakland. In response to police brutality at many of the port actions including Oakland, Oakland ports were shutdown for an additional shift (of longshore workers).
December 31, 2011 – A NYE noise demo with around 150 people marched to County Jail in Oakland to stand in solidarity with prisoners and folks that were arrested earlier during the week in Oscar Grant Plaza.
1 #Occupy encampments were evicted numerous times throughout October, November, and December. Many #Occupy encampments tried to reoccupy parks with varying degrees of success. Due to the sheer number of evictions (eg. Riverside), only particularly notable evictions were covered here. Individual #Occupy sites typically have some documentation of their evictions (see links).
+2011 photos from Bay of Rage.
– 2012 –
January 1, 2012 – Memorial march for Oscar Grant in Oakland, murdered by Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day in 2009.
January 7, 2012 – Occupy Oakland holds an anti-police demo titled, “Fuck the Police,” in protest to a string of incidents of police brutality and wrongful arrests. Several arrests are made as police kettle demonstrators.
January 14, 2012 – Occupy Oakland holds a second FTP march. (FTP marches continued to occur every Saturday for the next months. Other FTP marches took place in other cities inspired by Oakland.)
January 19, 2012 – UC Regents meeting is disrupted with a mic check, and a few demonstrators are arrested; a book bloc is present at the meeting (in Riverside). UC Berkeley students hold a study-in at the Anthropology library in protest of cuts to library hours (reminiscent of the 2009 study-in). Three days later, the Anthropology library study-in wins its demands.
January 20, 2012 – Occupy Wall Street West day of action. Throughout the course of the day, several bank branches were closed due to civil disobedience, a luxury car dealership had its windows smashed, and the Cathedral Hotel was occupied by Homes Not Jails.
January 24, 2012 – UC Davis former Cross Cultural Center occupied. It ends a few days later.
January 28, 2012 – OccupyOakland hosts a move-in day to occupy a building. Police interrupt attempts at building occupations. During a second march that day, police kettle demonstrators without any dispersal order in front of the YMCA. Around 409 were arrested, the most arrested in Oakland in 30 years.
February 20, 2012 – OccupyOakland holds a large demonstration in front of San Quentin Prison.
February 28, 2012 – US Bank closes its branch at the UC Davis campus due to continued direct actions. A month later, Yolo County District Attorney files multiple felony charges against 12 bank demonstrators, known as the Banker’s Dozen.
March 1, 2012 – National day of action for public education: in California, several demonstrations occurred. In Santa Cruz, demonstrators shutdown the UC Santa Cruz campus starting around 4:30am. In San Diego, the UCSD’s Chancellor’s Complex was occupied.
March 5, 2012 – Thousands marched together in Sacramento to participate in a day of action for public education. However, shortly after the marchers reached capitol building, the numbers dwindled. Later, demonstrators entered the capitol to hold a sit-in, where a handful of demonstrators were arrested.
April 1, 2012 – An empty building on 888 Turk St. in San Francisco — owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco — is occupied. The following day, some 20 hours later, a little under a hundred police/sheriffs raid the building.
April 22, 2012 – A group of organizers take over an empty lot, Gil Tract, owned by the University of California, Berkeley. They convert it into a urban farm. #OccupyTheFarm
April 30, 2012 – A call to start the strike early in San Francisco leads to a black bloc style parade of property destruction in the Mission District.
May 1, 2012 – International Worker’s Day: Despite high anticipation for the large bay area action in shutting down the Golden Gate Bridge, the union originally in support of the action withdrew from it and requested others to follow suit. In San Francisco, demonstrators reoccupied the 888Turk st building until the following morning when they were arrested. In Oakland, the police were unusually antagonistic towards a relatively small crowd. In Los Angeles, workers at LAX (airport) shutdown normal operation in a few terminals.
May 14, 2012 – Gil Tract Farm raided.
June 15, 2012 – In light of 5 Oakland Elementary School Closures, concerned community members set up a tent encampment outside Lakeview Elementary. Three days later, they occupy the school building and use it to teach summer classes.
July 3, 2012 – Lakeview Elementary Occupation raided by police, resulting in 2 arrests.
July 21, 2012 – Manuel Diaz is shot to death by Anaheim Police; police had approached Diaz and two others, then Diaz had attempted to escape. Witnesses claimed that police overreacted. When community members approached police and demanded answers, police numbers grew. Agitated police shot non-lethal rounds (pepper and rubber bullets) at community members and released a police dog on the crowd. In the evening a “near riot” occurs, where a few dumpsters are lit on fire.
July 23, 2012 – Joel Acevedo is shot to death by Anaheim Police. Acevedo was allegedly stealing a car and fired upon police. Police claim they recovered a gun.
July 24, 2012 – Anaheim community members converge on the city council to denounce the police actions of the preceding 72 hours. The evening ends in 20 arrests and property destruction at a strip mall.
August 13, 2012 – A vacant public library building in Oakland is occupied, and renamed the Victor Martinez People’s Library. Police raid it later that night. However, the library continues to run outside the fenced off building.
February 21, 2013 – During the ongoing accreditation issues plaguing the City College of San Francisco, demonstrators held a sit-in for 24 hrs.
May 6, 2013 – The Banker’s Dozen–the demonstrators that held sit-ins and helped shut down the US Bank branch at UC Davis–has their court case closed with a plea deal from the District Attorney, resulting in an infraction ticket and community service. Read more.
May 11, 2013 – OccupyTheFarm, a group organizing around the UC Berkeley owned Gill Tract (see April 22, 2012), attempts to re-occupy the lot. Two days later, they are raided by UC police. Read more: BayofRage, OccupyTheFarm.
May 16, 2013 – Following the eviction of the SFCommune squat the previous day, SFCommune organizers are arrested while visiting friends at SFSU.
Editor’s Note: May 2013 concludes active upkeep of the Chronology page.