UFO: Unidentified Flying Occupation. Tents float over UC Berkeley after cops trash encampment.

This is what democracy looks like, gliding up toward the heavens on helium-filled balloons after campus police beat students and smashed all their Occupy Cal tents.

This was shot outside UC Berkeley by zunguzungu.


  1. Christ! Where are those tents going to end up? Will they fall on top of or in front of a car driving down Rt. 580? On top of a chimney? In the water, to foul up a boat, or fish? I want to see our Plutocracy end, too, but I’m sick and tired of seeing pranks like this as anything other than clueless. Also, those tents cost MONEY – sometimes into the hundreds of dollars. Nice way to show progressive action. NOT!

    1. @Aima Littetipot — are you just someone who enjoys acting hysterical for no reason, or do you actually not see the tether cords visible in both photos?

      1.  I do not think so. Back in the 80’s I did a art project with garbage bags filled with Helium. They where tethered to the ground arranged in the form of an exploding trash mound.
        Don’t understatement the human factor; People would ‘liberate’ the bags; cutting the tethers and send them up and away, which was unintended. None survived the night.
        Unless they have someone guarding the installation, or take it down if it’s unguarded—the likely hood of it being released by someone is very high.
        If you remember there was a art project of a ‘floating Island” that was liberated by vandals not too long ago and was posted on BoingBoing.

      1. If you followed the 2nd link, you’d be able to see that the tents, much like the banner, are tethered.

        And when one of those tethers wraps around someone’s neck and decapitates them in a gust of damp, red wind? 

      1. Xen, take a look at the links I posted about a similar project. It was beautiful..and ‘liberated’ into the atmosphere despite being tethered to the ground in a somewhat secure location.  Anything of this nature should take into account the lesser qualities of human nature…and should be secured and guarded.

        1. I wonder if one could simply run the tethers through the tie-loops for the lofting balloons such that if tether tension were completely lost they would come loose and disperse.  (Maybe a leave a few tethered firmly to slow the rate of descent for the tent lest some unexpectedly “be-tented” soul below suffer injury).

  2. While ‘Aima Littletipot’ is being somewhat ridiculous – it’s got me wondering whether they can throw the FAA book at this one.  If the balloons in any one configuration total more than 115 cubic feet of gas – it looks as if they might – or if the mooring ropes are more than 150 feet long and not flagged with streamers visible for at least a mile, or if it’s operated at night at any altitude and the mooring line is not illuminated every 50 feet by FAR107.17-compliant lighting devices, or if the top of the rig is less than 500 feet from the cloud base, or if surface visibility is less than three miles, or if they’re within five miles of an airport, they could be busting a bunch of (seldom-enforced) Federal Aeronautical Regulations. (And I’m probably missing a few!)

    And under current law, they can escalate “breaking Federal Aeronautical Regulations with terrorist intent” to a “go-to-maximum-security-prison-forever” offense.

    Three felonies a day.

    1. I wouldn’t worry.  Assuming each balloon was a full cubic foot, it doesn’t look to me like “any one configuration” pictured above contains more than thirty or forty balloons.  The mooring ropes look to be fifty feet or less.  I’ve seen bigger installations at car dealerships, with or without streamers.  Given that the nearest airport is in Oakland over ten miles away, the impact on air traffic would be laughably nonexistent; the TV antenna in the upper right of the top picture poses a greater threat.  Unless the FAA posits that their regulated airspace extends down to within three stories above the surface of the Berkeley campus, that’s at least one book that won’t be thrown.

      Gods bless the Occupiers for keeping their message from becoming boring to the short attention spans of the nation.

      1. What with air being a gas and all… I wonder if the volume enclosed by the tent counts toward the 115 cubic feet. Remember that *someone*’s looking for an excuse to bust this one, so all technicalities will surely count. It doesn’t have to have an impact on air traffic, it just has to violate the letter of some regulation, somewhere.

      1. Oh. Yeah.  It’s hilarious. Really.

        That’s why it’s going to be so scary to those in power.  They can’t stand a joke at their expense.

        So once I got done laughing, I got scared.

  3. If it’s tethered, kite flying rules apply: “If flying a kite within two miles of an airport, FAA regulations prohibit the use of any kite weighing over five pounds, and it is not permitted to fly any kite on line longer than 500 feet in length.”… which they aren’t.

  4. I love it. Cute idea….doesn’t harm anyone…using creativeness. It the kind of thing people take pics of…post on internet, other want to know more, maybe they click and learn about the movement. Aima did go to Defcon 5 rather quickly….next time maybe investigate a little before you knee jerk respond. If not tethered your concerns are valid.

  5. “Will they fall on top of or in front of a car driving down Rt. 580?”

    Millions of Iraqis and Afghans have felt munitions incoming at mach 3 and watched as a war machine took their family members from this world and their love. We in America need to wake up. It will cost us to wake up. We do not have much time to wake up. These kids are awaking god bless them; they can park their tents in my drive for eternity.

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