For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Oct 11 2017
by Zehra Naqvi

How To Prepare For A Protest at UC Berkeley

By Zehra Naqvi - Oct 11 2017

Protesting is an incredible way to advocate for or against policies, but at the end of the day protests at Berkeley are occurring on a school campus. This guide is not for one participating in the protests, but rather how one continues their school day despite these events occurring on campus. 

The past couple of weeks have been pretty intense on Cal campus. The school splurged on security, spending around $600,000  for Ben Shapiro's speech and $800,000 for Milo Yiannopoulos's 20 minute appearance.

These on-campus protests can alter your daily routine, so its best to plan a couple of steps ahead. If you're a Cal student wondering how to plan your day during a major protest, or you're curious of how these protests affect a Cal student's day, here are a few tips:

1. New Walking Routes

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Police officers will block off major routes such as Sproul Plaza or Lower Sproul. Plan different routes to your classes or else you might be walking more than you expected. It's better to cut through Hearst Annex or Haas Pavillon, or take the secret pathway of Barrows Hall to Wheeler if you're already in that area. Luckily, someone took the liberty to decorate one of the pathways during the cancelled Free Speech Week protest.

2. Blocked Lecture Halls

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Sometimes the protests move from Sproul Plaza and roam around campus. If you're lucky it may even block your lecture hall, like the photo above. Most likely your lecture will be cancelled and your professor will send an email later, so pass the time by grabbing some coffee or taking a nap. Also, if you see a protest moving around campus, make sure not to block their way while taking a snapchat photo.

3. Detoured Buses

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If you take the 51B to school beware of closed roads and detoured buses. Plan on taking Uber/ Lyft with a drop off by the North Side of campus. If you don't, you'll just be stuck in traffic with a very annoyed driver. Your last recommended resort is walking.

4. Heavy Security

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Mentally prepare yourself to see security measures by city police, in this case pretty extreme, as well as a bunch of press vehicles trying to ask you for a quick interview. It can be pretty daunting seeing it all this happen the first time... but you'll eventually get used to it.

5. Library Lockdowns


If a protest gets out of hand, libraries or other school buildings may be put on lockdown. This procedure doesn't happen often, however just put this in consideration if you plan on studying on a day of high scale protest. 

6. Late Deliveries


Because a lot of the roads will be blocked, it might take your food delivery from Postdates, DoorDash or UberEATS longer than usual. Many restaurants and places around Telegraph will be open, so grab something on your way back for later.

I hope these tips help some of you prepare for a protest on a school day, or just showed a perspective different from those shown on TV.

Lead Image Credit: Zehra Naqvi

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Zehra Naqvi - University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley Student | Staff Writer

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