Occupy Cal encampment ends without conflict

Occupy Cal protesters ended their one-week encampment at University of California, Berkeley, early Friday morning (Feb. 17), after UCPD officers instructed the individuals to leave or face citation. No one was arrested.

The encampment, which included 13 tents, was located outside the entrance to the main campus library. Police asked protesters for identification and determined that seven were UC Berkeley students and 11 were not affiliated with the campus.

The encampment began Feb. 9 on the steps of Sproul Hall, where approximately four tents were erected that day. Over several days, the number of tents grew to nine and then 13. This past Wednesday, protesters moved the encampment to the steps of the Doe Library. The 11 non-affiliated protesters involved in the encampment were ordered by police to stay away from campus for seven days.

Throughout the protest, various campus administrators and faculty have reached out to the group to engage them in dialogue, to remind them that the encampment was against university policy and to leave on their own accord. Police officers regularly shared the same information with protesters.

In addition, twice over the last few days, Ron Coley, associate vice chancellor for business and administrative services, talked at length with Occupy Cal about its concerns, informed the group of campus policy, and told protesters it was time for them to leave. Coley also was on site during the clearing of the encampment, which took place Friday between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Coley noted that, as the protesters were leaving, one of them stopped to express gratitude for the professionalism that police displayed throughout the encampment.

Senior campus administrators note that the university’s approach to this encampment emphasized patience, communication and minimizing the prospect of physical harm. Officials will continue to assess and review UC Berkeley’s protest response and will adapt it as necessary.