Sproul Plaza
University of California, Berkeley
November 2011

At noon, on November 15, 2011, a small group of Brooks Brothers-clad protesters marched into a massive Occupy rally on the UC Berkeley campus to host an exclusive VIP-luncheon. UCMeP laid out planters, bamboo stakes, red-velvet tape, and a pink princess play tent to mark off a private space. At first, it was hard to convince Berkeley’s overeducated hippies to join our “mockupation” and imbibe with us. Thousands had converged that sunny November day to protest privatization, the increasing financialization of our everyday lives, and the adept team of “crisis managers” (some say: riot police) that had so gently “nudged” (some say: beat and arrested) students and faculty who assembled peacefully the previous week to pitch a few freedom-hating tents. Before long, however, the lure of luxury became too strong: we collected a great number of pledges and debt-certificates to help ensure and expedite the end of our rights to public assembly and to public education. It seems the crostinis were just too tasty.

UCViP’s Mockupy Luncheon was featured (very) briefly and (quite) unexpectedly — for obvious political reasons — in Robert Reich’s new comedy about America’s ever-expanding society of agile social climbers.

Colbert’s Coverage

Colbert also reported on the ungrateful gaggle of debt-enslaved miscreants who tried to pitch their freedom-hating tents near the iconic Sproul Plaza, birthplace of the so-called “Free Speech Movement.”

Critical Analysis

In November 2011, I had the opportunity to spend time in a number of different places across North America. Subsequently, and as an attempt to make sense of some of my experiences, I published a reflection on HowlRound.  As I traipsed back and forth, from Boston, to the Bay Area, to Montreal, and New York, Occupy was on my mind most of the time. It was the specter (or not so spectral presence) presiding over almost every dinner (and breakfast and lunch) conversation I had on my trip. And the conversations were indeed varied.

See: “Occupy, Hope, Exchange: A (Sort of) Travelogue,” HowlRound (February 2012).

Read at HowlRound

Excuse me, Madame. Would you care to join the one percent? We're a fabulous and delicious percent. Please join our exclusive VIP-luncheon. Join us for champagne and a tasty mélange of local tomatoes and Camembert on crostinis (i.e., Dominos pizza). You are most welcome, madame. All you have to do is commit to a lifetime of debt insecurity.

Brooks Brothers-Clad Protester