The Durant Riot: Initial Brief

February 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm (Student Occupations) (, , , , )

Berkeley, CA – In Sproul Plaza of UC Berkeley, hundreds gathered for a dance party that began around 10pm on Thursday, February 25. At the peak of the party (around 12am) the 250 people dancing surrounded the loudspeakers as together they moved farther into campus. As we approached Durant Hall, a building currently being renovated, people began handing out communiques. We began to see a yellow light glow from inside the second story windows of the building, and then silhouettes of dozens of occupiers emerged. They rigged a few banners across the front of the building and descended to join the party.

The occupation continued for a little over an hour, as occupiers and outside support began barricading their surroundings. The building, Durant Hall had once been a haven for East Asian Language studies, but is now being remodeled into another administration building. The occupation had the intention to point out this gross contradiction in university spending as well as articulate the need to escalate for March 4th. The point made, the occupiers and the supporters joined together to move the dance party away from an assured arrest action as police numbers slowly increased, in order to reserve their energy for the coming week.

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