Earlier today, OccupyCal protesters at the University of California Berkeley staged a mass “teach-in” and protest to stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and to rebuke police brutality. Last week, a video captured police viciously beating peaceful students as they locked arms to protect their encampment on campus.
One of the students hit by the police in the now infamous YouTube video, Honest Chung, addressed a crowd of well over a thousand people around 2:30pm PST. Chung explained the movement’s grievances, and said that the UC Regents, the governing body for the university system, had ordered the crack down. He also noted that several of the UC Regents retain positions at major banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The arrangement, Chung said, not only symbolized the larger problems of economic inequality and bank power over society, but places the UC Regents in a position to profit from student debt.
Watch a video of Chung’s speech and his comments to ThinkProgress below:
Because corporate-friendly Republicans blocked Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D-CA) initial budget, cuts have are yet again looming over California’s higher education system. UC Regents have debated whether to institute higher fees, tuition hikes, or larger cuts — while protesters have noted that several of the UC Regents benefit from student debt. As the San Francisco Chronicle has reported, “four regents have such ties, they said: Monica Lozano serves on the board of Bank of America, Dick Blum is head of Blum Capital Partners, Leslie Tang Schilling is an adviser at the Union Square Investment Company and Paul Wachter is CEO of Main Street Advisors.”