The Daily Californian - ‘We’ll be back’: Protesters call for UC to divest from Blackstone

BERKELEY, California - UC Berkeley students and Berkeley residents joined a rally led by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME-3299. The procession marched from Blackwell Hall to the chancellor’s office on Valentine’s Day to push the UC system to divest from Blackstone.

Starting at 11:45 a.m., protesters took a stance against the university, alleging several billion dollars worth of investment in Blackstone, to which protesters attributed the skyrocketing rent prices in Berkeley. Campus is a large shareholder in Blackstone, a private equity firm and one of the largest residential and corporate landlords in the United States. Several student housing residencies in Berkeley are also owned by Blackstone.

“This is the first of many protests we’ll be holding in solidarity with AFSCME, to bring attention to the irresponsible policies of the university,” said Eric Lerner, director of climate change and corporate accountability with ACCE. “We want to send a message that the UC needs to divest its (billions) invested in Blackstone, a company that is causing a national housing crisis.”

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