Tag Archives: University of California student occupations

Pepper Spray as a Means of Advancing the Human Condition (UC Davis)

http://vision.ucdavis.edu/

A Message from Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

As we begin our second century, UC Davis is poised to become one of the world’s great universities as it stays true to its mission to advance the human condition through improving the quality of life for all. We are already regarded as an institution with an extraordinary foundation of academic excellence and global impact. And in the coming years, we have enormous potential to build on these strengths and rise to even greater heights of distinction, scholarship and service.

[…]

As we begin this journey, we must acknowledge the difficult economic circumstances of the present, even as we aspire to embrace the extraordinary opportunities of the future. I realize that achieving and maintaining this balance will be a challenge. But we cannot and must not neglect our responsibilities for today as a land-grant institution, or compromise our dreams for tomorrow — our dreams for our students, who deserve nothing less than access to a world-class education, and our dreams for a thriving California populace, whose well-being is so intricately woven with our own.

To all members of the extended UC Davis community, I ask you join me in this spirit of optimism. Embrace this ambitious vision for our university. Working together, we are certain to achieve a truly extraordinary, second century of excellence.

Linda P.B. Katehi,
Chancellor

_____

Published on Saturday, November 19, 2011 by MSNBC

Video Spreads of UC Davis Cops Pepper Spraying Occupy Students

Demonstrators were protesting dismantling of encampment

DAVIS, California — A video of police in riot gear pepper spraying demonstrators is spreading after 10 Occupy protesters were arrested on the University of California, Davis campus Friday, Sacramento NBC station KCRA reported.

The demonstrators were protesting the dismantling of the “Occupy UC Davis” encampment that was set up in the school’s quad area.

“Police came and brutalized them and tore their tents down and all that stuff. It was really scary. It felt like there was anarchy everywhere,” said student Hisham Alihbob.

Police told Sacramento’s KTXL TV station that the students were given until 3 p.m. Friday to remove their tents from the campus. When students refused, police arrived at the given time. Students sat down cross-legged and locked arms when cops showed up and the pepper spraying began.

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said it would not be safe or sustainable for demonstrators to camp in the quad.

“It’s not safe for multiple reasons,” Spicuzza said.

At least one woman left by ambulance for treatment of chemical burns.

“We just successfully booted the police off campus in a non-violent way,” Chris Wong, a student protester who said he was speaking for himself, not the Occupy group, told the Sacramento Bee.

Wong said he was one of the students sprayed, but he looked down and didn’t get a full dose. He said students then circled the police and tried to hold their ground. The police eventually left.

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Eight Protest Bystanders Charged with Multiple Felonies after UC Demo

Eight protest bystanders charged with multiple felonies after UC demo

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Contact:
UC Berkeley student, Marika Iyer — marikaiyer@gmail.com
Other student Organizers of Live Week:
Laura Zelko, student organizer with Live Week: laura_z@berkeley.edu
Callie Maidhof, student organizer with Live Week: callie.maidhof@gmail.com

UC Police arrested 8 more people – many whom eyewitnesses say had not been engaging in any illegal activity – on the final night of a 5-day, 24-hour-a day “Live Week” open university, held by Cal students and faculty to protest and provide an alternative to the “dead week” at the end of the semester resulting from recent furloughs and budget cuts. The final event of the week, a free performance featuring Boots Riley, a hip hop artist from The Coup, had to be moved at the last minute after a morning police raid on Wheeler Hall, the primary site for “Live Week” activities.

Some 200 students gathered for the concert at the UC Berkeley campus from UC Davis, SF State, UC Santa Cruz, and UCLA as well as Berkeley. Following the concert, which had been interrupted by police cars constantly circling the area, some of the attendees joined a night march that left campus for the residence of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. Some of the protesters carried torches to light up the path, they said. Some dragged newspaper boxes into the street.

“Regardless of what one thinks about the events of last night, the minor vandalism that occurred cannot be viewed outside the context of the physical violence inflicted by police on student activists and the broader assault on public education,” said Callie Maidhof, a student organizer with Live Week.

Many of the marchers were upset about the arrests that had been made earlier that day, when police stormed into a building where students had been holding Live Week events since Monday. Sixty-five people who had been sleeping or studying were loaded onto Alameda County Sheriff’s buses during the cold pre-dawn hours, some of them barefoot and wearing only their underwear. Most of the students were given misdemeanor trespassing charges and released by the afternoon, but some say they’re fearful of additional charges that either the District Attorney or the UC administration could add on in the coming year.

Police swooped down on the activists in front of University House around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, resulting in pandemonium as the students and other activists dispersed in all directions.

“When everyone is running, you don’t think that clearly. My friends and I were trying to leave because things were getting out of hand,” said Jobert Poblete, a Cal alumni who participated in the march.

Poblete was split up from his friends, who ran into the woods near Strawberry Creek. Police then swept up Carwil James, 34, a visiting Ph.D student from City University in New York.

“Carwil hadn’t been doing anything at the time. Now he’s in jail on his birthday, and they just raised his bail from $50,000 to $132,000. There’s no way we can raise that much money. This is a travesty,” said Poblete.

David Morse, 41, an independent journalist, was filming the demonstration and police response when he was arrested, said witnesses.

“They were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said a student who observed the chaos when police arrived at the chancellor’s house and declined to give their name. “Not all of the protesters were students at Cal – but the issue here is larger than tuition hikes anyway. It’s about the state of public education and neoliberalism in the US and abroad.”

Eleven people arrested at student demonstrations during the past week remain in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

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Filed under activism, open letters, manifestos, appeals, political repression, protests, student movements

Occupy California

http://occupyca.wordpress.com/

A short film on the occupation of Wheeler Hall,  at University of California, Berkeley:

Why occupation? Why barricades? Why would an emancipatory movement, one which seeks to unchain people from debt and compulsory labor, chain the doors of a building? Why would a group of people who deplore a university increasingly barricaded against would-be entrants itself erect barricades? This is the paradox: the space of UC Berkeley, open at multiple points, traversed by flows of students and teachers and workers, is open in appearance only. At root, as a social form, it is closed: closed to the majority of young people in this country by merit of the logic of class and race and citizenship; closed to the underpaid workers who enter only to clean the floors or serve meals in the dining commons; closed, as politics, to those who question its exclusions or answer with more than idle protest. (Text continued here.)

UC Irvine sociology graduate student John Bruning recounts his arrest by UC police during a November 24 demonstration:

The tactics of UCPD have quickly escalated in the past week.  The last political arrest at UCI was a few years ago, during the struggle to insource workers.  In my time at UCI, there has not been an incident where police pepper sprayed students, especially not at a peaceful protest.  The use of tasers is troublesome given their lethality, and I would not at all be surprised if sometime this year police shot a student dead or killed them another way.  Looking into the eyes of the police yesterday, in all but a few cases, there was the appearance of outright contempt for students and their safety.  A few looked as if orders were the only thing keeping them from clubbing skulls.  My arresting officer carried a look of hatred on [his] face, as if students’ needs were the only thing keeping him from happiness.  One has to wonder, with all of the rage these men contain where their souls should be, how they take care of their aggression when there aren’t protests.  At home, on their families?  I hope not, for their sake.  Maybe they have a nice hobby, like playing baseball. 

http://californiaprof.blogspot.com/2009/11/statement-in-support-of-uc-mobilisation.html
Statement in support of the UC Mobilisation

Here is a statement in support of mobilization at UC, started by Peter Hallward (Middlesex University, London), which is currently gathering signatures:

We the undersigned declare our solidarity with University of California students, workers and staff as they defend, in the face of powerful and aggressive intimidation, the fundamental principles upon which a truly inclusive and egalitarian public-sector education system depends. We affirm their determination to confront university administrators who seem willing to exploit the current financial crisis to introduce disastrous and reactionary ‘reforms’ (fee-increases, lay-offs, salary cuts) to the UC system. We support their readiness to take direct action in order to block these changes. We recognise that in times of crisis, only assertive collective action – walkouts, boycotts, strikes, occupations… – offers any meaningful prospect of democratic participation. We deplore the recent militarization of the UC campuses, and call on the UC administration to acknowledge rather than discourage the resolution of their students to struggle, against the imperatives of privatization, to protect the future of their university. (See a list of signatories at the link above.)

To endorse the statement and add your name to the list, email Nathan Brown (UCD) at ntbrown@ucdavis.edu.

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Filed under activism, open letters, manifestos, appeals, protests, student movements