UC Berkeley celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) last week, a series of student-led protests that revolutionized political activism. FSM veterans returned to the campus to give speeches, conduct panels, and honor the significance of their activism half a century ago.
“Who’s got the power?” Dolores Huerta asks the crowd. “We got the power!” the audience responds in unison, and the feeling of empowerment in the room is unmistakable. On Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, Dolores Huerta came to speak at the Berkeley High Florence Schwimley Little Theater. Huerta is most well known for her work as an activist who founded the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) along with Cesar Chavez. The evening ended with a call and response portion, a method used to inspire activists during the farm labor movement Huerta led throughout the sixties and seventies.
Students passing the school entrance may have noticed the giant bulldozers and mounds of dirt blocking off a street next to Berkeley High. As some curious onlookers may have guessed, this isn’t your average street paving. In fact, workers are installing a permeable paver roadway on the block of Allston between Martin Luther King Jr Way and Milvia Street. Although the technology is advanced, the basic concept is exactly what the name suggests: bricks in the pavement allow water to drain straight through to the underlying soil, rather than run off into drains.
Kristin Glenchur has been appointed interim principal of Berkeley High School for the 2014-2015 school year. She replaced Pasquale Scuderi, BHS principal since 2010, who moved up to serve as assistant superintendent of Educational Services for the Berkeley Unified School District.
After growing up in Los Angeles, Glenchur earned her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and a master’s degree in education from UC Berkeley. She has worked at BHS for over twenty years. Glenchur served first as an English teacher
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously on June 24 to raise the city’s minimum wage to $12.53 per hour by October, 2016.
Following a three-month-long struggle on how to structure its minimum wage plan, the council has voted to raise Berkeley’s minimum wage to $10 in October, and to $11 the year after.
Although California’s minimum wage increase to $9 per hour took effect July 1, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. San Francisco already has one of the highest in the nation at $10.74, but city leaders have put a measure on the November ballot to raise that wage to $15 per hour.
On the night of August 15, a group of about two hundred people marched from Oakland to Berkeley to protest the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
The protest was one of many in the wake of the shooting of Brown, who was unarmed, and the subsequent outcry and heavy police involvement in Ferguson. Both East Bay protesters and those around the nation chanted “hands up, don’t shoot” to denounce police violence and racial profiling by police.
Mobs of high school students caused disruption and chaos in Downtown Berkeley on Friday, May 9.
Berkeley police officers were deployed to the area, and three students were arrested for “disturbing the peace.” The students were later released to their parents. An Oakland Technical High School (Oakland Tech) student was arrested for the use of pepper spray.
The Berkeley community held a National Advancement for the Association of Colored People (NAACP) forum on account of alleged cases of racial profiling in Berkeley on May 12.
The forum was held to pass a bill stating that race, age, and gender must be recorded in all police vehicle and pedestrian stops.
Proponents hope this bill will make officers evaluate their bias and provide more data that could reveal racial profiling in police arrests.