Via Occupy Cal:
We love our libraries and are here to protect them. Libraries are critically important for excellent education for all. We students, faculty, and community members collectively have decided to occupy the Anthropology Library at UC Berkeley to protest the dismantling of the library system on campus and public education as a whole.
We chose to occupy this space because the Anthropology library is a recent victim of extreme service cuts. The hours of operation are being cut from the previous, already slim, 9am-6pm to the current 12pm-5pm, because the university has not taken the necessary steps to sufficiently staff the library. The multiple attacks on campus libraries are a reflection of privatization and the devaluation of the public education system.
We are here to reverse this process. We call on the administration to take immediate action to hire another full-time librarian to ensure full access to this valuable resource.
The administration may claim that there are insufficient funds, but in reality these resources exist, but their allocation by UC administrators and the state does not adequately reflect the values of excellent public education. Why have the UC Regents continued to approve 21% increases in administration salaries, while students are being denied access to their libraries? Why are the taxes of the 1% so low while essential social services are being cut across the state and country?
We stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement as a whole and the protestors at UC Riverside who were met with violence in their attempt to protest the austerity policies of the UC Regents, Sacramento, and Washington D.C.
Defend our libraries and schools. Occupy together.
--- The Anthropology Library Occupation
January 19, 2012