5:19 PM: It’s all over, folks: our source says “And the sad denouement. Twitter feed, by contrast, says the protests are still on and 150 people are locked in the building (which can’t have been true.)”

From: Emergency Notification List on behalf of Roman Starno
Sent: Mon 11/23/2009 5:19 PM
To: EMERGENCY
Subject: Re: Franklin Bldg protest activity

The student protest has cleared up and the protestors have now exited the building. There are still some protests going on Franklin street which will also break up shortly.

All the elevators are back on line and all the building systems are back on line.

Thank you everyone for your cooperation.

11/23 PM 4:13 From a tipster, two emails that went out to the UC Berkeley community

From: Emergency Notification List on behalf of Robert Charbonneau
Sent: Mon 11/23/2009 3:25 PM
To: EMERGENCY
Subject: Franklin Bldg protest activity

As you may have noticed, for your safety and security the elevators have been temporarily placed out of service due to protest activity in the Franklin Building lobby. Building security and police officers are on scene and in control of the situation. If you need to exit the building, you may do so via the exit stairwells. However, you will not be able to re-enter the building at this time. Please avoid the lobby area. UCOP staff are free to move within the building via the stairwells. Sorry for the inconvenience. We will notify you when the lobby is clear and elevators are back in service.

Please do NOT call Building Security unless you have an urgent matter. Thanks for your cooperation.

Bob Charbonneau
OPRS Environmental & Emergency Services
510.987.9594

From: UC OP Staff List on behalf of UCOP News
Sent: Mon 11/23/2009 4:07 PM
To: UCOP-L@LISTSERV.UCOP.EDU
Subject: Franklin Building update

Colleagues —

Please be advised that if your car is in the UCOP garage, you will not be able to access it from the lobby entrance. Instead, exit the building from the 12th Street side, and then enter the garage from the sidewalk.

Also, employees who are physically unable to use the stairs to exit the building, please contact the security desk at 7-0601 and they will make arrangements to help you get safely out of the building.

We will be posting further updates on the situation as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Bob Charbonneau
OPRS Environmental & Emergency Services
510.987.9594

11/23 4:10 PM A tipster reports:

The building is indeed surrounded by police cars, and Franklin street is closed off to traffic.

Since I rarely leave the city (too lazy, junky car, scared that when I start yelling racial slurs on BART we’ll end up with window all over me), I have no idea what this Franklin Street is, but East Bayers — you have been warned.

11/23 3:39 PM Twitter has confirmed (and it NEVER LIES) that students are indeed occupying the administrative office.

@ucbprotest is the way to go for updates on the occupation.

11/23 3:29 PM: A source tells us that:

As of 3 p.m., protestors have taken over the UC Administrative office and the building is surrounded by Oakland PD. the protestors have not figured out that employees can still take the freight elevator, though.

Also, they’re making some disgusting-smelling lentil stew in the lobby.

We’re back to checking:

Updates tagged #berkeley
Updates tagged #ucstrike
Daily Cal’s feed
Daily Clog’s feed

for confirmation. Anyone out there know anything else? Let us know.

11/20 4:58 PM: From a tipster: “here’s what just came in on the UCB situation. I assume he’s sending it from his Blackberry because he has been kidnapped by the students, like in 9 to 5.”

From: Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
To: Staff, All Academic Titles, Academic Senate Faculty, Other Members of the Campus Community, Students,
Subject: Latest Update on Wheeler

Since 3:00 p.m. today a group of senior administrators, faculty, and student leaders have been reaching out to the protesters inside Wheeler Hall. Attempts to engage in a conversation with the 15 to 30 protestors estimated to be in the building have been refused. The protesters are demanding reinstatement of 38 AFSCME custodial staff who were recently laid off and amnesty and the dropping of charges against any of the protestors. Today’s takeover of Wheeler Hall has affected 3800 students who were not able to attend classes in Wheeler Hall, as well as many others who have offices and work in the building. Activities in many other campus buildings were disrupted by falsely activating fire alarms. We continue to attempt to resolve the situation and encourage the protestors to leave the building of their own accord.

2:36 PM: I cannot believe I am even following this like I care — I mean, of course I care about education, and students, and democracy, but I care about it more when it happens on my side of the Bay. I am provincial and loving it! Carrying on, a reader sent in the email sent to the UC Berkeley community (the one Christine alludes to below), here it is:

From: Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
To: Academic Senate Faculty, Staff, All Academic Titles, Other Members of the Campus Community, Students,
Subject: 11:30 Update
Sent: Nov 20, 2009 12:05 PM

Approximately 200 protestors are continuing to demonstrate on the south side of campus in the area around Wheeler Hall. Wheeler Hall is occupied by protestors and the building remains locked.

All classes at Wheeler are suspended until further notice and employees who work in Wheeler Hall are advised that they should plan on not being able to enter the building for the remainder of the work day. Employees should confirm alternative work arrangements with their supervisor, as possible. Instructors who teach in Wheeler Hall are being contacted by e-mail.

Fire alarms have been intentionally set off in several buildings including Barrows, Dwinelle, and Sproul Hall. The fire department is verifying that these are false alarms and will allow people to reenter buildings when it is safe to do so.

The safety of our campus community, including those involved in this protest, are an utmost priority of our police as they work to resolve the situation.

Thank you to all members of the campus community for your continued patience in this matter. Please check for updates throughout the day on the Berkeley home page http://berkeley.edu

Sent from my BlackBerry

All that from his Blackberry! Amazing. When I send emails from my phone they usually contain embarassing autocorrections that are horrible profanities.

I guess we know now why he’s the Chancellor of a world-renowned college and I’m the food stamp collecting online writer.

1:23 PM: Appeal Events Editor Christine Borden, a recent UC Berkeley grad, and former editor of their blog, the Daily Clog, is over there where students are running amok, chaos is reigning, and all hell is breaking loose.

OK, not quite. But we’re sure the specific events are changing even as we write this, and we’re the SF Appeal, not the Berkeley Appeal. So we’re admittedly writing from a place of extreme ignorance,. But as we write this, SFist says that around 60 protesters have locked themselves inside UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall, in an effort to protest the UC Regents’ decision to increase tuition 32%.

Christine, being their former blog editor, remains super knowledgeable and connected, and offers her top links for how to follow the action as it happens.

Here are the stories she recommends to get up to date, from CNN, MSNBC, and True/Slant

Twitter feeds to follow for up-to-the minute news — Christine notes that the Daily Cal’s (the newspaper of UC Berkeley) and Daily Clog’s sites “are down because the server’s overloaded.” So Twitter’s your best bet for now:

Updates tagged #berkeley
Updates tagged #ucstrike
Daily Cal’s feed
Daily Clog’s feed
The feed from Wheeler Hall (the occupied building)

Christine also reports that “there have been official emails sent to students, but since I’m an alum I have not received them,” and that “according to one of the organizers, Breslauer (UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor) has agreed to begin negotiations with them.”


Homepage photo: welt said to be from police baton from Reclaim UC

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Christine Borden

    Oh God I LOLed hard at the Blackberry line. Birgeneau mentions checking out berkeley.edu, but the story they have on the site (and this doesn’t surprise me one bit) has no mention of WHY the students are protesting. Pfft!