Students and Faculty beaten by UCPD now face Criminal Charges (Sign Petition)

12 03 2012

(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.

$924,642 Yudof: "I'm not starving to death."

Birgeneau absentThis 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.

UPDATE (3/13/12)

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


#J28 Truths coming out on OPD Misconduct and Quan’s broadbrush

31 01 2012

Updated 5X (2/3/12)

CNN: Occupy Oakland demonstrations, arrests inject new life into movement

Bay Citizen:  Many Arrested, But Few to Face Charges

Out of 409 arrests made, only twelve people (3%) face actual charges.

Nearly 400 innocent people jailed, including journalists, and as reported below many held for three days and mistreated by police and jailers, for the crime of peaceful protest.

Huffington Post: Occupy Oakland Activists Report Inhumane Conditions In Santa Rita, Glenn Dyer Jails

Oakland Tribune: Occupy Oakland supporters claim authorities used excessive force and violated their rights  Occupy Oakland protesters denied medication in jail

SF Bay Guardian: Occupy Oakland inmates at Santa Rita attacked- developing story

Daily Kos: Oakland Arrestees Tortured

Oakland North: Journalists arrested at Saturday Occupy Oakland Protest

KQED News:  Newspaper Guild wants meeting with Quan

The KQED report includes tweets from journalists, including this one which reports widespread police violation of CA Penal Code 830.10

Yael Chanoff, SF Bay Guardian

-No cops have badge numbers showing and they are refusing to tell protesters

(Apparently with impunity, despite the example made of the only two OPD officers who happened to be caught on video by a citizen journalist.  Why isn’t there wider enforcement?)

Newspaper Guild president Bernie Lunzer sent a letter to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan, requesting a meeting and clearly calling them out on OPD’s violation of its own guidelines:

Although several journalists were released quickly on the scene, others were held for long periods of time, making it impossible for them to do their jobs. Numerous reports from the scene document officers ignoring reporters presenting their press credentials and admonishing them for not following orders to disperse.

This despite the OPD’s own guidelines, which state, “Even after a dispersal order has been given, clearly identified media shall be permitted to carry out their professional duties in any area where arrests are being made unless their presence would unduly interfere with the enforcement action.”

You may have heard (as reported in the SF Chronicle) that Mayor Quan plans to call OWS “leadership” to ask them to denounce #OO, showing the laughable scale of her cluelessness on multiple levels.  Here is a response from a member of the leaderless movement known as OWS.

Daily Kos:  Dear Oakland Mayor Quan, you do not need to call me, here is MY response to YOUR demands

Lastly, let’s not forget to keep in perspective the city’s priorities in light of the #J28 OPD brutality that triggered over two dozen solidarity actions around the globe:

Note:  this doesn’t include all of the lawsuits that are pending since #OO began.

Two OPD Officers Disciplined, Fed Judge considers sanctions

11 01 2012

(Updated 2/1/12)


Remember this video by BLK PXLS shot on the night of the General Strike in Oakland (11/2/11)?

It showed Officer John Hargraves concealing his uniform nameplate, in clear violation of CA Penal Code 830.10, and supervising officer Lt. Clifford Wong asking Hargraves to remove the tape.

The Bay Citizen reports:

The Oakland Police Department has disciplined two officers for violating department policy during the Occupy Oakland protests, The Bay Citizen has learned. The suspension of one officer and the demotion of his supervisor are the first known disciplinary actions OPD officials have taken in the wake of hundreds of police misconduct complaints following the Occupy demonstrations.

Oakland Police officer John Hargraves has been suspended 30 days for concealing his uniform nameplate

The department suspended Officer John Hargraves for 30 days for covering his name badge with a piece of black tape, a violation of California law. Lieutenant Clifford Wong was demoted to sergeant for failing to properly report the incident, according to police sources.

Read more: The Bay Citizen (

Judge Henderson Considers Sanctions Against Oakland

East Bay Express reports:

On January 9, Judge Thelton Henderson heard a motion brought by Riders’ plaintiffs attorneys John Burris and James Chanin that sought federal sanctions for officers who had covered their name plates during Occupy Oakland eviction actions by the Oakland Police Department. City attorneys argued that this was an isolated incident that did not represent a systematic violation of policy and that the officers’ superiors acted swiftly to investigate fully.

City attorneys also argued that it would be improper for the federal court to intervene in this instance since discipline had already been ordered for the two officers . . .

At the end of the hour-long hearing, Judge Henderson stated that he would take all of the arguments under submission and issue a written order. There is also a regularly scheduled quarterly status hearing scheduled in Judge Henderson’s court room on January 26.

Read more.

UPDATE 1/11/12:  More officers hiding badges

OCCUPIED Oakland Tribune: Officers Hiding Badge Names Widespread

UPDATE 2/1/12:

Judge: Covering Police Badge Is Serious Misconduct
Officers involved in incident during Occupy protest may each have to pay $5,100 in fines
Source: The Bay Citizen (

National Lawyers Guild demands end to Police harrassment of Occupy; Litigation ongoing

5 01 2012

NLG Demands OPD End Harassment of Occupy Oakland Protesters
January 5, 2012

In the midst of increasingly repressive police actions against Occupy Oakland, the SF Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has issued a statement demanding an end to OPD harassment of protesters.

Last night dozens of OPD officers swept in to Ogawa-Grant Plaza and singled out individuals for arrest without warning or charges, in violation of their own Crowd Control Policy, and confiscated all belongings and possessions (story and video here, and update).

Over the past three weeks, OPD has repeatedly raided the lawful protest vigil at Oscar Grant Plaza, using selective and bizarre interpretations of city and state ordinances to justify aggressively arresting and jailing the demonstrators. Again and again, the police have charged into crowds of peaceful protesters and grabbed individuals protesters who were doing nothing wrong and posed no threat.

As one occupier reported on KPFA, OPD has also taken to raiding on Fridays, so that detainees face the choice of either being held in confinement through the weekend or posting bail, for charges that in most cases end up being dropped.  It’s a strategy used to deplete the financial resources of the protesters, ultimately without legitimate reason for detention.

“We have already had to sue the Oakland Police twice in the past year for violating their own Crowd Control Policy, but the violations continue,” explained attorney Mike Flynn, president of NLGSF. “We have ongoing litigation in federal court to stop the unconstitutional arrests, violence against, and illegal prolonged detention of demonstrators in the Alameda County Jails. Yet, OPD has continued to assault Occupy Oakland protesters, confiscate their food and belongings, and hold them under cruel conditions in jail for days at a time, only to release most with no charges or with only very minor violations.”

Police here (and in New York, for example) have taken to arresting the first protester to speak, without warning or explanation of charges.  And despite attempts by the media to spin the Occupy movement as that of only white people, we’re seeing a pattern of singling out and brutally targeting of people of color, and in particular, African Americans (e.g. in SF, NY, Oakland).

At the moment, people have been gathering for several hours outside of Oakland city hall to try to speak to the mayor, where OPD is blocking entrances and, based on the latest tweets, making more violent arrests (Support needed now.)  The mayor is not available to meet with them, because she is in crisis mode as she scrambles to respond to the federal consent decree for OPD’s history of police misconduct, as reported by attorney Walter Reilly on KPFA’s Flashpoints this evening (

Misplaced Priorities

Keep in mind that this repressive use of police on the part of Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana comes in the wake of recent closure of five elementary schools in order to save city money.  And yet the estimated cost of the repressive policing of Occupy has already exceeded the two million dollars that the city refused to invest in those elementary schools.

As reported by KTVU, Oakland, a city of 400,000, is outstanding for having paid out $57 million in the past ten years for police misconduct lawsuits and settlements.  That’s nearly triple the annual budget the would have been required to keep those elementary schools open for the next ten years.

OPD’s rampant ongoing violations of its own policies is only going to make matters worse for both citizens and the city itself.

Where are Oakland’s priorities?

Mayor Jean Quan:  (510) 238-3141

City Administrator Deanna Santana:  (510) 238-3301

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