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Indybay Feature
Fri Feb 14 2014 (Updated 03/14/14)
UC Berkeley Students Occupy Blum Center
Demonstrators Demand Resignation of Regent Richard Blum and UC President Janet Napolitano
On February 13, UC Berkeley students took over the Blum Center in protest of the appointment of Janet Napolitano as President of the UC system, as well as the UC regents privatization of California higher education. The day began with a rally and march to mark the arrival of Napolitano, with the march ending at the Blum Center, where students occupied the building and remained in protest of both Richard Blum as regent and Napolitano as president.

Students say Richard Blum, the primary funder and namesake of the Blum Center, represents and acts as a driving force of privatization and reorganization of the University of California system. As an investment banker, Blum profits from the fact that the UC is no longer funded primarily through the federal government. Students also claim UC regent Richard Blum was central in proposing Janet Napolitano as UC president. They say that although the Regents state that this was done through a headhunting agency, Blum was instrumental in making the final decision.

"We conclude that central decisions for filling the highest-ranking positions in the UC system continue to be made by those who stand to profit from privatization," demonstrators wrote in the Blum Center Takeover Manifesto. "Blum’s interest in keeping a business-as-usual that allows for massive profits for companies to which he has ties indicates Napolitano’s appointment as a means to continue this process of implementing policies of social control during her time in the Department of Homeland Security."

Occupiers left the building of their own accord the following day.

Read More | imc_photo.gif Photos | 12:02 am: Cops with batons are at the UCB Blum hall occupation | Occupation of UCB's Blum Center ended at 4:30 pm today | Collective Statement Regarding the February 13th Day of Action

Previous Coverage:
Immigrant Youth, Students, & Workers Protest Napalitano Appointment at UC Regents Meeting
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