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UC Berkeley ‘identity’ groups protest for safe spaces, block passage to white students

Over 100 protesters from the UC-Berkeley Queer Alliance Resource Center (QARC) and bridges Multicultural Resource Center blocked student access to Sather Gate last Friday afternoon during their demonstration to “be relocated to [a] different club space on campus.”

This was the groups’ third protest-demand to be moved from the Eshleman Hall basement. The Daily Californian reports that the issue is one of “visibility.”

“It’s not just the size of the space, it’s also the location,” [bridges Organizing and Community Development Director David] Lemus said. “Nobody even knows that MLK [Student Union building] has a fourth floor.”

What the Daily Californian doesn’t note is that activists refused passage to white students through the Sather Gate area during the demonstration. Minority students were permitted through.

By and large, students avoided the protesters by taking alternate routes, notably by crossing over the nearby Strawberry Creek.

Heat Street reports:

In video of the protest, the so-called anti-racism protesters were seen denying passage across the bridge to white students — shouting “go around” — while happily allowing students of color to pass through.

After blocking the bridge, the protesting students moved towards the front of campus to occupy the front of the student store, because they felt it interfered with their “safe spaces”.

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A notice of eviction is seen being put on the building by students claiming “You are hereby notified by the students of the University of California, Berkeley to vacate the premises immediately. University administration wrongly allocated this two-story facility to a third-party corporations, keeping in line with its intensifying legacy of prioritizing financial profit over student needs.”

The students ended their letter with an ultimatum: “If you fail to vacate immediately, community action will continue to escalate with the goal of eliminating any revenue generation”, adding that  “This space expansion is one step in an ongoing process to remedy the historical devaluation of students of color and LGBTQIA+ students.”

At about 3:57 into the video (after the demonstrators moved to the book store), a female activist confronts a police officer who is merely entering the building: “(Inaudible) like that?” she says. (A fellow protester adds “That is unnecessary!”).

“It doesn’t matter who you are. What the fuck??”

Read the full Daily Californian and Heat Street pieces.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.