The violence on November 9th, however, changed things for many respondents. 87% said that their interest in Occupy Cal increased after the police brutality. 35 of you explained why your interest level changed.
The overwhelming disapproval of the UCPD’s actions led to solidarity with the students who were hurt or put themselves on the line. Many of you were “disturbed” by the footage. Many of you mentioned that the students’ actions were indeed non-violent, and that the Chancellor “did a poor job in defending our human rights and safety:” “no university administrator should come out on the side of violence against their own students.” One person expressed pride in the students for remaining non-violent Even folks who did not support the movement became more sympathetic towards its participants.
Three respondents defended the University’s attempt to take down the tents while condemning the methods used towards achieving this goal. Two of you expressed interest in how the movement could leverage these high-profile events.
66.3% of respondents reported being more likely to get involved with Occupy Cal in the wake of the violence. 34 people explained what they would do – or why they probably wouldn’t. Approximately half said they planned to attend planned events, and one person had already rearranged his/her schedule to go.
“Absolutely. I had very little interest in the movement beforehand, but now I plan on attending the day of action to stand in solidarity against all violence and those who inflict it.”
“I plan to check out the events tomorrow Nov 15th, although I will spend most of the day studying. Hell, I’ve already paid for my education this semester, so I’m going to get my money’s worth out of it.”
A few people expressed their intentions to get involved, but hadn’t decided how yet. Several also wanted to get involved with writing letters or signing petitions.
The remaining people remained unlikely to get involved because they just still don’t agree with the movement, or believe in the utility of protesting:
“I inquired about legal observer training and did more research to see how the media was portraying the event. I signed a petition and donated money, but I think it’s better to engage in a policy debate rather than risk getting arrested, beaten or sprayed with tear gas.”
“I’m all for protesting against the methods employed by the police last week and to encourage the university to take action on that issue. But I don’t fully align myself with Occupy Cal, and am therefore unlikely to get involved.”
“I don’t think I’m more likely since my fundamental problems with Occupy Cal still persist.”
The Blog Team analyzed the data neutrally, giving attention to all trends. This is an accurate reflection of the 81 responses we received. Is your opinion expressed in this summary? If not, please add it. Do you agree or disagree with what’s been voiced? Let us know. Most importantly, what’s next? What might we, can we, or should we do to pitch in to this movement? Ankit has analyzed and summarized your responses to “What changes would you make to Occupy Cal?” which will hopefully be a springboard into further debate for ways GSPP students who’d like to get involved can do so.
*Two students voiced concerns about the validity of the survey: the wording of the introductory email, they pointed out, was not neutral and could possibly skew the data. We appreciate this valid concern, but want to point out that a) our intention was to frame and start a conversation, which sometimes involves lighting a flame; b) we felt our framing of the issue was based on accurate observations, and c) we’re learning on the job about survey design. This is a work in progress, so please continue to give us feedback and work with us! **
**On that note: I realize that the pie chart labels do not match up exactly with the ones on the survey, as the survey answers were on a five-point scale with only the endpoints and midpoint labeled. I did the best I could to label the additional two points accurately.