Sunday, November 20, 2011

Occupy UC Berkeley!


I attended the Occupy UC Berkeley Strike on November 15. I planted myself at the Sproul Plaza Fountain while marchers, students, community organizers, and others swirled around. Eventually, there were thousands (est. range from 5 to 10 thousand). It was difficult to sketch (the movement deserves better), but I felt an obligation to document history in the making and provide another visual perspective in contrast to main media. I have to note that the space-ship looking item was actually a small tent on a pole, symbolizing the tents that had previously been removed). There was also a Che flag that served to link the past and present.

Later, the festive atmosphere changed to a more serious mood as information came out about a (unrelated) shooting at another part of the campus and the assembly process began. There were calls for non-violence and the need to decide on what actions undertake. More people moved into the plaza and the presence of helicopters and police on the ground became more insistent.

During the course of my afternoon and early evening, I repeatedly heard the need for a peaceful demonstration, from students, veteran Viet Nam War era demonstrators (who were now checking out what was happening on campus), folks from the Berkeley Zen Center, and a policeman (who volunteered that his mother sketched).

For more info, please visit You may also want to see Occupy Oakland artwork at And my sketching friend Michaela has posted her wonderful work earlier on this blog.

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