(UPDATED 3/13/12, see below)
November 9, 2011 was the the first Day of Action at Occupy Cal, when University of California police made national headlines by violently beating peaceful protesters at UC Berkeley.
Since then UC President Mark Yudof has publicly announced:
I intend to do everything in my power as president of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest.
UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau has publicly stated:
I sincerely apologize for the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley and extend my sympathies to any of you who suffered an injury during these protests. As chancellor, I take full responsibility for these events and will do my very best to ensure that this does not happen again.
Yet in spite of these public proclamations, per Reclaim UC:
Professor Celeste Langan and 10 students have been formally charged by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in connection with the protests on November 9th. Crucially, those charged are not limited to those who were arrested that day, and there is reason to believe that those singled out within this category were chosen for their prominent roles in the movement to restore public education.
In the face of this legal repression, Yudof and Birgeneau have remained deadly silent.
This is how the administration “protects” the rights to engage in peaceful protest: first, a violent beatdown; now followed by criminal charges of the victims, and no meaningful investigation of police misconduct nor any transparency around administrative culpability.
Recall that on November 9, Professor Langan offered her wrists to police while asking to be arrested but was instead dragged by her hair. Read Langan’s account here. Graduate student Shane Boyle, who sustained a broken rib during the incident, has also been summoned.
Analyses of the protests and police conduct that day have been submitted to the UC Police Review Board by three professors: Judith Butler and law professor Jonathan Simon, and Langan herself.
Pickets against legal repression are taking place daily at noon in front of California Hall.
Please Sign this Petition
Remaking the University has posted a petition calling on UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to follow UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi in asking his county’s DA to withdraw these charges (sign here).
The Berkeley Faculty Association has a petition for signing by members of the UC Berkeley community.
Via Remaking the University
Birgeneau announces he is stepping down in December.
Berkeley Faculty Association calls on Birgeneau to condemn Alameda DA’s decision to charge November 9th protesters.
It turns out that the UCB Tang Center shared information with UCPD on those protesters who suffered injuries on November 9th.
California Scholars for Academic Freedom protest President Yudof’s recent statement linking protest to hate speech.
Davis Faculty Association points to some problems in UCD’s recent policies on protest.
Occupychallenges administrators in new ways.
Stafford Loan interest rates are about to double.
Increased scrutiny of big for-profit colleges is causing a decline in enrollment.
Colorado considers law that would make it easier to offer lecturers and adjuncts multi-year, enforceable contracts.
UPDATE: Linda Lye of the ACLUanalyzes the implications of the prosecution of the November 19th Protesters. And the ACLU has issued a new PRA request to see what role the University may have played in the decision to prosecute.
UPDATE 2: (3/17/12)
Occupy Cal Protesters to be Arraigned: More than a dozen Occupy protesters are scheduled to be arraigned on charges connected to a clash with police last year.
NBC Bay Area 3/16/12
More than a dozen people charged in connection with Occupy Cal protests are set to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court this week and next.
University of California at Berkeley Professor Celeste Langan pleaded not guilty today to charges connected to a Nov. 9, 2011 clash between police and protestors, according to attorneys for By Any Means Necessary, a group working with protestors.
Langan is charged with one count of resisting arrest and one count of blocking the sidewalk, both misdemeanors, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She is scheduled to return to court April 5.
Twelve other people are scheduled to appear for arraignment next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on similar charges in connection with the protests, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said.
At least four of those being prosecuted are also involved in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in November alleging that police used excessive force during the protest.
Attorneys for By Any Means Necessary, the group filing the lawsuit, say that they expect to add allegations of retaliatory prosecution to the lawsuit in light of the criminal charges, which were filed after the lawsuit.
They noted that some of those being prosecuted were not among the more than three dozen people arrested during the actual protest but were among those reporting injuries and taking part in the lawsuit.
Full story here