Friday morning, I heard on KCBS, the local all-news AM station, that some students had “taken over” Wheeler Hall, a building on the UC-Berkeley campus. As I wrote our morning news team a note about that, the phone rang. It was one of the morning news team asking whether I could go out and cover the Wheeler Hall story. I said I would.
When I went out to get in the car, I realized I had a flat tire. I thought of riding my bike, but knew it would be hard to find a secure place to lock it up. As I walked back inside the house to ponder my next move — if I walked or took the bus or BART, I’d miss the air time for the upcoming newscast — I heard the neighbors’ dog barking outside. One of the neighbors in question works for the university–in the news office, actually. I ran outside hoping I could catch a ride to campus with him. I did.
I showed up outside Wheeler to find yellow police tape around the building — it might have taken a quarter mile of tape to do put up that line — and several dozen students with banners who had parked themselves across the main north-south path through campus. In a few minutes, I’d sized up what was happening and had lined up a young woman who said she was one of the protest organizers. She wouldn’t give her name, but said it was OK to call her Jane Doe or Emma Goldman. Yeah, she really said that. We put her on the air. I was on, too–both for one of the newscasts and our longer “Forum” discussion show. One observation: I say “um” and “ahhhhh” a lot.
Here are the links to the audio of these immortal radio (and associated) appearances:
The California Report: UC Students Protest Fee Hike
Photo slide show: Wheeler Hall protest
And in other self-promotion news: November 22 marks this blog’s sixth anniversary.