Demonstrators inside Mrak Hall were evicted earlier this afternoon after administrators closed at 2:30pm, two and a half hours earlier than the regular public closing time. The demonstrators called for and held a general assembly later in the evening at 4:45pm to determine further actions.
Administrators evacuated the Mrak Hall staff at roughly 2:00pm and then proceded to close the building to the public at 2:30pm. It was at this point that the administration and 30 or so police, some of who were in riot gear, confronted the 18 or so demonstrators that had been in Mrak since yesterday afternoon. The demonstrators left the building after a short informal discussion.
Police outisde of Mrak, earlier this afternoon. -Sophia Kamran
"Based on the information we had and the best interest in the safety of the students and the people working in the building they decided it was the best course of action to close it early said Claudia Morain, the UC Davis News Service Director. When asked why some of the police were equipped in riot gear she said, "they didn't know how it was going to go. We've been taking this one step at a time all along and we're glad there was no conflict."
Crowd outside Mrak later that afternoon.
"It doesn't feel like a loss at all," said undergrad Muneeza Rizvi, "given the amount of students, we decided to leave of our own accord." The demonstrators quickly reconvened on the north lawn of Mrak Hall and called for a general assembly to occur later in the afternoon when other demonstrators would return from protests in San Fransisco. They have more action planned for Thursday on the quad at noon and do not see an end to the protests.
Yesterday, after a rally numbering atleast 1000 people turned into a march on Mrak, just under 100 demonstrators stayed in Mrak Hall overnight. Mrak Hall is the administrative building on campus and has been a focal point in protests in UC Davis for the last couple years. The protests started as part of a statewide strike called after a violent confrontation between occupycal and UCPD on the UC Berkeley Campus. Set in the context of occupation movements throughout the country, the protests on the UC Davis campus have taken tactics from these movements and share similar goals and language including protesting austerity measures enacted after sharp decreases in government revenue.
Neil Ruud reporting for KDVS News.
Photos by Neil Ruud unless otherwise noted.
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