Attendance for an afternoon protest outside UC Berkeley’s Benjamin Wheeler Hall Wednesday was slim.
Joining schools throughout the Bay Area, UC Berkeley students held events throughout the day, culminating in a late afternoon protest in front of Wheeler Hall.
The protest, which was coincided with a statewide Day of Action did not garner the kind of attention it had hoped, however those in attendance were undaunted.
“Movements like this ebb and flow, but despite the weather, we had a pretty decent turnout,” said Eric Garcia, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley.
Though many participated, students suspected the rain and gloomy weather was the malefactor that kept many supporters indoors.
“I think the weather has something to do with it, but also maybe people are tired of rallying,” said Toni Mendecino,a clerical worker at UC Berkeley and SF State alum.
The massive turnout of last year’s Day of Action sent powerful messages, but many involved in this year’s events recognized that the movement for higher education is losing steam.
“People get jaded, it gets exasperating and you can feel like its never going to end,” said Tatianna Peck, a Gender and Women’s studies student at UC Berkeley. “But we have to keep investing time in it because its necessary to keep this going.”
The protesters later moved from the steps of the building to inside Wheeler Hall in the hopes of making a statement. Protesters had hoped that the move indoors would boost the energy, but numbers faded still inside the lobby.
“People are numb after this recent round of cuts, but this turnout in here is what we expected,” said UC Berkeley graduate student Natalia Chousou-Polydouri.
Once the protesters moved inside, many were game to hold their ground into the night.
“We’re going to stay until 10 p.m. when the building closes, then plan our next move from there,” said Garcia to the group.
Having been provided with food from the San Francisco organization Drop Food Not Bombs and entertainment from various performers, the dedicated are possibly preparing for a long night.
“Seeing this kind of convergence of groups in the Bay Area,” Garcia said. “It’s a positive movement.”