Occupy SF movement comes to SF State, students begin to organize

OccupySF

SF State students and faculty quietly sit in a circle in front of the Ethnic Studies Building during the Occupy SFSU general assembly Oct. 13, 2011. The organizing was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country to fight against corporate greed. Photo by Jessica Christian.

The Occupy SF movement has officially reached SF State, as students held their first general assembly meeting in front of the Ethnic Studies building today at noon.

The protest was termed Occupy SFSU, a spin-off of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and began with proposing an agenda and formulating procedures.

Several dozens were in attendance, among them professors, students and members of various organizations.

Although everyone was there for different causes, most were in agreement that the main reason they were there was to protest against tuition increases and budget cuts.

“We need to concentrate on intellectual liberation,” said one protester.

Demonstrators began using a communicative method they referred to as “the people’s mic,” which is when one person says a few words and the people next to them repeat them. This allowed people to be heard by all without the use of speakers or amplification.

“This (movement) is, in my opinion, the most relevant revolution of our time,” said one protester.

After listening to suggested ideas and proposed dates, protesters voted to hold general assembly meetings every Monday and Thursday at noon.

Students then organized themselves into different committees, which included: media, art, campout, action logistics, conflict resolution, social media, facilitation, outreach and education.

“Considering that this was their first meeting it still has potential to grow, but that’s dependent on how well they can organize it,” said Will Nelson, 22, an environmental studies major.

A couple of students passed out red ribbons for other students to wear on their arms and wrists to raise awareness for their cause.

“It’s a good movement and I’m glad that we’re in solidarity with so many different cities in the U.S. and all over the world,” said Chris Torres, 22, who is not a student but attends an experimental student activism class at SF State.

As part of the demonstration, protesters are planning to set up tents and camp out in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Luke Barnesmoore, a 19-year-old international relations major, is organizing the campout.

“I’m a full-time student and I don’t have time to camp out with the protesters at Occupy SF, but I can camp out at school,” Barnesmoore said. “The key to our movement is global connection.”

Barnesmoore also said he is upset that education is having their funding cut, while the banks keep getting bailed out.

Several University police officers were also on site.

“We are just here to monitor the situation and to make sure that there are no disruptions,” said Officer M. Bautista.

The demonstration will continue with tomorrow’s campout coupled with a march at noon at the student center.

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