Occupy Cal Clashes: Dozens Arrested

Police and students stand off

By sunrise Thursday all was quiet on the campus of U.C. Berkeley.

Although police and Occupy Cal protesters clashed several times over whether tents could be set up on Sproul Plaza, in the end a few tents (with campers inside) did stay on the steps. Other Occupiers slept in sleeping bags.

Protesters said they would hold another big rally at noon.

Wednesday night, campus police arrested dozens of students and clashed with others to end a student occupation.  Those arrests followed the arrest of six students and one member of the faculty earlier in the day on suspicion of resisting and delaying police officers and failing to disperse. One person in that group was also charged with striking an officer, according to AP.

The bulk of the arrests came Wednesday night, as authorities in riot gear confronted demonstrators trying to establish an encampment.

University of California at Berkeley officials addressed the crowd and offered a compromise, which was met with a negative response, a university spokeswoman said.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Harry le Grande addressed the protesters who had erected tents in front of Sproul Hall earlier Wednesday after a noon rally and march to protest tuition and fee increases for university students and funding cuts to all levels of public education.

The demonstration was intended to be in the style of "Occupy Wall Street," "Occupy Oakland" and similar protests, and participants planned to set up an encampment that would stand for at least a day.

However, around 3:40 p.m., dozens of police in riot gear pushed their way through the human chain using their batons and began taking the tents down, leading to scuffles between police and protesters.

Police withdrew shortly before 4 p.m. after dismantling all but two of the tents and the protesters quickly reestablished a small encampment. Le Grande told the protesters this evening they could use the site as a gathering spot 24/7 for the week on the condition that they do not camp out -- tents are not allowed.

Riot police stayed on campus overnight. They will be back on hand Thursday.

Check back for updates.

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 Bay City News contributed to this report.

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