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Mic Check: How the 99% Pitched a Movement from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Cal

  • Author(s): Bintliff, Jacob
  • et al.
Abstract

The University of California, Berkeley, became a site of the Occupy Movement in fall 2011. On November 9, the university found itself in the company of financial hubs, civic centers, and parks and plazas the world over when Sproul Plaza was re-appropriated by the sleeping bags and “mic checks” that came to symbolize the disenfranchised majority, "the 99%." Occupy Cal was immediately subject to a brutal suppression of student protest by the police, as both students and the university administration struggled to impose their respective meanings upon the university's "Main Street," Sproul Plaza. Like other Occupy encampments, controlling public space on the university campus became a way of projecting meanings of the "public":  how the public is constructed and represented, and what types of voice and access it would have in determining the future of public education and social justice.

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