Thousands of students in the University of California school system participated in walk-outs, protests, and rallies yesterday as part of the broader Occupy Wall Street movement. According to reports, UC-Berkeley and UC-Irvine had the most participants.
At Berkeley, protesters had been warned by the administration not to set up camping sites on university property, as prohibited by the student code of conduct. But some chose not to listen:
Alex Poska, a protester involved in the March Wheeler Hall occupation, said the administration’s stated opinion was irrelevant. He said their ultimate decision was made by their actions against protesters.
“Their actions indicate that they don’t want to support an Occupy movement,” he said. “We’re in a battle.”
Although dozens of protesters stayed at the encampment late into the evening, police forced their way through the line of protesters using batons at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and confiscated the group’s tents.
Student organizer and UC Berkeley junior Marco Amaral said he would stay at the campus encampment as long as it takes for administrators to make a change to the system.
“The Occupy movement has arrived,” he said. “This is beautiful.”