BERKELEY -- The Occupy movement in the Bay Area held fast Tuesday, undeterred by police action the day before to demolish what had been one of the region's largest and most visible encampments.
Hundreds of occupiers displaced Monday from the Occupy Oakland camp joined forces with a resurgent Occupy movement at UC Berkeley, where they rallied into the night and voted overwhelmingly to establish an encampment at the campus -- defying Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and setting the stage for a potential confrontation with police.
It would be protesters' second attempt to set up a camp on campus. UC Berkeley police tore down tents at Sproul Plaza on Nov. 9, and Birgeneau made it clear the university had not changed its position.
"We will not allow encampments equivalent to what has occurred in Oakland and San Francisco," he said.
But even as the crowd of thousands at the joint Occupy general assembly waited to hear UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich speak at 8:30 p.m., tents were already popping up.
Before the vote and the passionate rhetoric that preceded it, however, Tuesday had been a mostly quiet day for Occupy in the Bay Area. Only one protester -- a tree-sitter -- remained at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, which for a month had been transformed into a giant city with 100 tents before police raided it at 5 a.m. Monday. In San Francisco, occupiers -- many of them transplants from Oakland -- enjoyed a peaceful day and uneasily waited out rumors of an imminent police raid. Instead, campers were told they would meet with Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall on Wednesday to discuss the future of the sprawling camp.
Most of the activity Tuesday was in Berkeley. Sproul Plaza was a crowd of people, art installations and teach-ins throughout the day. The plaza was adorned with two pianos, couches, rugs, a cardboard Karma Wheel, a giant phoenix, tree branches supporting wind chimes and a giant red dinosaur called "Regent-o-saurus Rex." In the midafternoon, protesters from Occupy Oakland marched about five miles from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza to join their Cal counterparts at Sproul Plaza.Also on hand were Occupy protesters from Alabama, Seattle and Hartford.
Michael Cohen, a UC Berkeley lecturer in American Studies, inaugurated the space, which Occupy Cal is calling Open University, as a place of free education that is exempt from budget cuts.
"We are against police brutality, cuts to education and the privatization of everything," Cohen said. "The Open University cannot be closed, they cannot beat it out of us and they can't scare it out of us."
Hours before the general assembly convened at the campus, the peace was shattered when university police shot an armed man in a computer lab in the Haas School of Business. The man, in his 20s, was alive when he was transported to a hospital, and an update on his status was not available late Tuesday.
With that notable exception, it was a calm day. In Oakland, the only protester apparently undisturbed by the police raid was Zachary Running Wolf, who remained on a platform in a sycamore tree along the 14th Street side of the plaza. Running Wolf, who lived in a tree for 80 days during a UC Berkeley protest three years ago, said he planned to stay until the Occupy Oakland camp returns.
In San Francisco, the camp was quiet and peaceful.
Dell Edward Burchett, 26, who said he has been regularly switching between the Oakland and San Francisco camps, said the mood is different in San Francisco. While Occupy Oakland was plagued by gang activity, he said, there has been no such problem in San Francisco.
"Everybody here is united for hope," Burchett said. "It's beautiful here. It's loving. It's family."
The camp stretches from Justin Herman Plaza, down Market Street to the Federal Reserve Bank. There, protesters placed a makeshift grave to the American dream, complete with a gravestone and a pile of dirt.
Later Tuesday night at UC Berkeley, Reich rallied the crowd to the central message of the Occupy movement.
"The fundamental problem (is) we are losing equal opportunity," he said to a warm reception from as many as 3,500 who remained in Sproul Plaza, where the Free Speech Movement was born. "We are losing the moral foundation stone upon which this country was built."
The "days of apathy," he said, "are over."
Staff writers Katy Murphy, Scott Johnson, Doug Oakley, Rick Hurd, Chris De Benedetti, Matthias Gafni, Joshua Melvin, Hannah Dreier and Matt O'Brien contributed to this report.