As protests against the grand-jury decisions in the deaths of New York City's Eric Garner and Missouri's Michael Brown continue to make headlines across the nation, UC Berkeley's Black Student Union got fellow students' attention via their stomachs. Around noon, the group blockaded The Golden Bear, one of Cal's more popular spots for breakfast and lunch, tweeting that "No one eats until we get justice!" Surrounded by a 300-person crowd of sympathetic fellow students and community members, the students spoke out against the verdicts and a larger culture of systematic discrimination and violence by the police against the black community.
The students have continued their protest throughout the afternoon, demanding demilitarization of law enforcement, a national "End Racial Profiling" act, and investigation of the criminalization of communities of color.
They've been joined by former Black Panther Party chair Elaine Brown, among other speakers. The students plan to vacate the cafe at 4:30 pm, four and a half hours after their protest began, to commemorate the number of hours Brown's body was left in the street in Ferguson after his death.
More photos from the event:
Protesters against excessive force take over The Golden Bear, a Berkeley dining area. pic.twitter.com/3vUBkmyQML— KQED News (@KQEDnews) December 4, 2014