Occupy protesters move to California universities
UC Berkeley had emerged as a new hot spot in the occupy protest movement.
On Tuesday, more than 1,200 singing, sign-waving students and faculty members rallied for much of the day on Sproul Plaza, site of the 1960s Free Speech Movement.
At one point, the demonstrators chanted "Hey, hey, ho, ho, police violence has got to go," a reference to an incident last week in which baton-wielding police officers stopped an Occupy camp from being set up on the campus. Dozens of protesters were arrested in last week's confrontation and several were injured.
Tuesday's Berkeley rally was peaceful but tensions surged in the afternoon when campus police shot and wounded a man who, they say, appeared to be carrying a weapon in a computer lab at the Haas School of Business half a mile from the protest site. Four students were in the lab at the time but none was hurt and the unidentified man was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Officials said the incident remained under investigation but did not appear to be related to the protests or the Occupy movement.
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After nightfall, the number of protesters had doubled and some began pitching tents on the campus plaza, defying a decision by Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau to bar any new attempt to camp on school grounds. Campus police did not take any immediate action but said they were studying how to proceed. Among the crowd were about 300 Occupy Oakland activists who marched to the UC Berkeley campus — one day after police had closed the Oakland encampment.
Officials said the great majority of UC Berkeley's 35,000 students went to their classes Tuesday, but some were canceled and others were held outdoors.
To the south, about 200 students demonstrated at Cal State Fullerton and other protests took place at Cal State Los Angeles, UCLA and elsewhere.
--Maria L. LaGanga and Carla Rivera
Cal State Fullerton sophomore Claudio Soria leads fellow students in a protest over tuition hikes. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / November 15, 2011)