Berkeley, Calif protesters pitch tents, defy order

November 16, 2011 10:54

BERKELEY, Calif. - Protesters at the University of California, Berkeley, pitched tents on Tuesday night in defiance of campus officials a week after police removed a nascent anti-Wall Street encampment.

The late-night escalation by students and other protesters followed a day of peaceful demonstrations against economic inequality and cuts to higher-education spending and set the stage for a possible showdown with police.

It also came hours after nerves on the campus famed for its 1960s student activism were jarred by an afternoon shooting in a computer lab that police said appeared unrelated to the rallies in Sproul Plaza, about half a mile (1 km) away.

Police estimated the size of the crowd reached as many as 3,700 people at its peak a few hours after dark.

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