Students at the University of California, Berkeley held a protest Friday demanding that the University create both “safe spaces” for transgenders and “spaces of color” for non-white students on campus.
A video of Friday’s protest shows a large group of protesters preventing white students from passing over a bridge while allowing access to students of color.
In addition to blocking access to Berkeley’s Sather Gate, a key bridge on the route to many classes, the wall of protesters also prevented white students from studying in the Student Union and stopped traffic at the main intersection in the front of campus.
One of the protest’s leaders can be heard yelling “Who’s university?” into a megaphone. The wall of protesters respond in unison, screaming “our university!”
After blocking the bridge, the protesters moved to occupy the front of the student store. The video captures a protester placing a “notice of eviction” on the side of the student store.
“You are hereby notified by the students of the University of California, Berkeley to vacate the premises immediately,” the eviction notice states. “University administration wrongly allocated this two-story facility to a third-party corporation, keeping in line with its intensifying legacy of prioritizing financial profit over student needs.”
The notice then demands the university create safe spaces for trans and students of color because “the work that these student-run spaces produce to recruit and retain students of color and provide support for the LGBTQIIA+ student community is invaluable and must be affirmed by the university.”
The notice also includes a threatening ultimatum to the University, stating “if you fail to vacate immediately, community action will continue to escalate with the goal of eliminating any revenue generation.” The students also added that they believe that “This space expansion is one step in an ongoing process to remedy the historical devaluation of students of color and LGBTQIA+ students.”
After posting the notice, the protesters continued to disrupt their campus by leading a chant through the university’s student union, where many students go to study.
“They are being quite childish,” declares a Berkeley student watching the protests. “I agree with the right to protest but disrupting the peace of others is not OK.”