#Berkeley students protest UC President Napolitano #highered #edstudies #occupyeducation #ubc #yteubc

by Stephen Petrina on February 16, 2014

Photo by Alejandra Gonzalez Ramirez

Sahil Chinoy and Adriann Dinolfo, Daily Californian, February 13, 2014–UC President Janet Napolitano has been protested across her tour of the UC system, and her visit to UC Berkeley proved no different as individuals from several campus coalitions coalesced in two separate demonstrations Thursday – one continuing into the night – to express their discontent.

As of 1 a.m., the demonstrations remained ongoing, although a diminished version of earlier iterations, with about 30 to 40 protesters outside the Blum Center for Developing Economies, inside of which nine students have locked themselves.

BAMN, a group that advocates for immigrant rights, began the first round of protests at 10 a.m. with a small group of about 15 people outside Sutardja Dai Hall. Three hours later, about 150 people gathered on Upper Sproul Plaza for another protest led by the Students of Color Solidarity Coalition.

Both groups expressed disapproval of Napolitano’s history of deportation as the former Secretary of Homeland Security and of her nonacademic background.

Jasmene del Aguila, a UC Berkeley freshman watching the Sproul Plaza protest, said she supported the demonstrators because she knows undocumented students attend the university, adding that these individuals should have the same opportunities as other students.

In comparison, Nic Jaber, a UC Berkeley sophomore who also observed the protest, was not convinced the SCSC had the right strategy.

“Whether or not she enforced immigration has nothing to do with her proclivity to be our UC president,” Jaber said. “She’s trying to work with us, and we just keep slapping her in the face.”

The protesters then marched through campus and blocked the entrance of the Blum Center, near where BAMN was still stationed.

Nine SCSC students entered the Blum Center about 2:40 p.m., chaining the door and locking themselves inside, according to SCSC organizer and UC Berkeley alumna Natalie Sanchez. She added that the students are risking arrest, and some are risking deportation.

The protesters have three demands to the administration: that individuals inside the building receive amnesty, that Chancellor Nicholas Dirks call for Napolitano’s resignation and that those in solidarity cancel classes Friday and “build a strike.”

Read More: Daily Californian