Kevin Warnock

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Occupy Cal protest at University of California at Berkeley November 15, 2011

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Kevin Warnock at Occupy Cal following Robert Reich speech at UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011

Kevin Warnock at Occupy Cal following Robert Reich speech at UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011

I was at the Occupy Cal protest at University of California at Berkeley last evening, November 15, 2011. There were over 1,000 protesters there. The energy in the air was positive and infectious.

As far as I could detect, the Occupy Cal event wasn’t marred by the shooting of a Berkeley student by campus police earlier in the afternoon. That student later died at the hospital. That student, Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, age 32, was a transfer student from Ohlone College in Fremont, California.

Haas School of Business Dean Richard Lyons addressed the school’s students this morning. Later, Lyons posted this letter to the Haas Newsroom and publicized it via the micro-blogging website Twitter.

My friend Heather Sepulveda went to Ohlone College before she transferred to UC Berkeley years ago — a very strange coincidence to be sure.

Occupy Cal general assembly at UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011

Occupy Cal general assembly at UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011

There was a drum beat to the protest, thanks to the talented musicians that showed up. One of the musicians looked to be about 60, and he said he had participated in the anti war protests at UC Berkeley in the 1960s. I feature some of the music in the video I am editing from the event, which I hope to post tomorrow. I got some great video, including of the camping tents being carried into place.

Board member of the Mario Savio Lecture Fund addressing Occupy Cal protesters November 15, 2011 at Sproul Plaza

Board member of the Mario Savio Lecture Fund addressing Occupy Cal protesters November 15, 2011 at Sproul Plaza

Robert Reich speaking at Occupy Cal protest, November 15, 2011

Robert Reich speaking at Occupy Cal protest, November 15, 2011

The event incorporated a gathering of The Savio Lecture Fund, which originally was to take place indoors at the Pauley Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, also on the UC Berkeley campus. My guess is the change of venue was decided close to the last minute to benefit from the association with the Occupy Cal movement. I was not previously familiar with Mario Savio, I am embarrassed to admit. I concluded from the talks I heard last night that Savio would have embraced the Occupy Cal movement and message. Savio spoke on December 2, 1964 from the same steps of Sproul Hall where the speakers last night spoke from.

The Savio Lecture speaker last evening was former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who is a Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. I captured his speech to high definition video and presented it on my blog earlier today.

Camping tents being moved onto Sproul Plaza as part of the Occupy Cal protest November 15, 2011

Camping tents being moved onto Sproul Plaza as part of the Occupy Cal protest November 15, 2011

In the photograph above you can see some of the camping tents already in place, along with another tent being carried into place already set up. Organizers were distributing hot food on the Sproul Hall steps. Even though there were a lot of people there, it was possible to easily move among the crowd, and I had no trouble taking pictures and video, even though I had brought a tripod with me, for many of the time exposures I took to capture the low light images you see here.

Soap bubbles by the hundreds liven up the view from the steps of Sproul Hall during Occupy Cal protest at UC Berkeley November 15, 2011

Soap bubbles by the hundreds liven up the view from the steps of Sproul Hall during Occupy Cal protest at UC Berkeley November 15, 2011

Sproul Hall after Robert Reich concluded his speech on the steps. UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011.

Sproul Hall after Robert Reich concluded his speech on the steps. UC Berkeley, November 15, 2011.

I took the above shot right before I departed, after 10pm. The group front and center appeared to be in their 50s and 60s. The age mix of the crowd was inspiring — it definitely wasn’t just current students in their teens and twenties. I felt that people were really passionate about the Occupy movement, and that this movement will be long lived and will accomplish real change in the world. I am glad I made the trip from San Francisco.

I uploaded these pictures at full 21 megapixel resolution. To see them at full size, click on them twice, with a pause in between the clicks to allow the photographs to load in a separate window. If you’d like to use these pictures for something, please give me a link back to my blog. If you like this blog, please subscribe, and please add this post to your status feed on Facebook. Thank you!

Written by Kevin Warnock

November 16th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

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