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How to: Have an ‘open’ university

Posted By Lynn Yu On Nov 15, 2011 @ 5:40 pm In The Specials | Comments Disabled

Today’s strike [1], in large part a response [2] to last week’s DSC02583brutal police action [3] and the state’s funding cuts to higher education, was, dare we say, even better than last week’s Day of Action?

Better in what way, you wonder?

Gone were the cries of outrage and guilt — the campus atmosphere had metamorphosed from one revolved around hate for the 1 percent to love for fellow occupiers. Rather than being divided in how to proceed with the movement, the Cal community had united to celebrate the fight for income equality and social justice.

Instead of devoting a day to voicing grievances, Cal dedicated this strike to appreciating the individuals of the university, literally embodying the word “community.”

Sound cheesy? Here’s how today’s protest demonstrated what a public and “open” university looks like:

1. A heartwarming welcome

We can’t exactly put a finger on the precise mood that encompassed today’s events. It certainly didn’t feel like a strike — it had more of a carnival-like quality, with general revelry taking place all over Sproul Plaza and displays of artwork scattered across and around the steps. Furthermore, as the Clog has mentioned multiple times, live entertainment tends to set a friendly and festive tone, and the performances that took place today did that, and more.

Today’s entertainment included a choir, and songs about the occupation (indeed, someone actually composed music about the movement). The concert, if it could be called one, was intended to be interactive, and compelled audience members into singing and clapping along. Lyrics from various songs included: “You know the occupation’s comin’ … and the movement’s marchin’ on,” “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes in” and “I need you/you need me/we’re all part of one body.”

Leadin' the masses in song

Leading the masses in song

Singing against the 1%

Singing against the 1 percent

One woman even came out today, belting “You’re all important to me/I need you to survive!” The movement has officially welcomed you to our university.

A Public school

A Public school

2. Making it homey

Dispersed around the steps were areas of shade and rest. An open “library” had even been set up on the right, with pianos open to anyone to play and sofas to lounge and talk on. Despite there being large pieces of furniture lying about in the sun, Cal went on as if this was a completely normal routine of everyday student life. In fact, that’s just what everyone did — relax and enjoy the day.

Just chillin'

Just chillin'

Feel free to pound away

Feel free to pound away

This library works on the honesty system

This library works on the honesty system

Why protest when you can John Lennon your day away?

Why protest when you can John Lennon your day away?

3. Education outdoors

The Clog spotted multiple discussion sections seated in the grassy sections of Sproul, discoursing despite the noise coming from the steps and the clamor coming from the skies (those goddamn helicopters!). We saw a few older members of the Berkeley and surrounding communities stop and listen to the GSIs leading discussion. We guess this is what it means to have education “open” to everyone who wants to participate.

Open to one and all

Open to one and all

4. It was all free. Completely.

All the afore-mentioned furniture was donated, and almost all the constructed implements set up on the premises had been made of recycled material. Even the books in the makeshift library were free, and free to take; from the Clog’s understanding, absolutely nothing was purchased. Said Blanche DuBois,”I have always depended on the kindness of strangers [4]“ — so too has this movement.

If you insist...

If you insist

The symbolic gateway to...

The symbolic gateway to...

...the universe?

... the universe?

The best part of the protest though, was undoubtedly the student and community created artwork. And with that, we’ll direct you to the voting booth once again [5]!

As always, keep checking back with The Daily Clog [6] and The Daily Californian [7] for protest updates!

The Bears do Occupy

The Bears do Occupy

Image sources (all): Lynn Yu, Daily Cal
Earlier: Have a successful Berkeley protest [8] [8]

Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2011/11/15/how-to-have-an-open-university/

URLs in this post:

[1] strike: http://www.dailycal.org/2011/11/15/updates-photos-from-nov-15-day-of-action/

[2] a response: http://www.dailycal.org/2011/11/14/strike-day-of-action-activities-to-be-held-tuesday/

[3] brutal police action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buovLQ9qyWQ

[4] I have always depended on the kindness of strangers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxGN29njs3Q

[5] direct you to the voting booth once again: http://clog.dailycal.org/2011/11/15/vote-for-your-favorite-piece-of-occupy-cal-artwork/

[6] The Daily Clog: https://twitter.com/#!/thedailyclog

[7] The Daily Californian: https://twitter.com/#!/dailycal

[8] Have a successful Berkeley protest: http://clog.dailycal.org/2011/11/09/how-to-have-a-successful-berkeley-protest/

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