Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Neofascist Advice for UC Administrators

Via our comrades at Davis (cited in the report!), James C. Garland, former president of Miami of Ohio, doles out some brazen advice to our own bungling administrative community:
However, carried to extreme, campus protests are disruptive and damaging. Occupying buildings, interfering with classes and administrative offices, destroying property, throwing rocks and bottles, and breaking laws are anarchistic behaviors that have no business in academia and must not be tolerated. Furthermore, when protest discourse degenerates into name-calling, harassment, deception, and distortion of facts, educational values are undermined. Students should not be encouraged to believe that taking to the streets and pointing fingers at scapegoats is an appropriate or effective way to contribute to the solution of complex problems.

Thus, when some student and faculty protesters, upset about tuition increases at the University of California, downplayed the complex economic reasons for the increases and chose instead to level unwarranted blame at the feet of the regents, the system president, and the campus chancellors; and when their naïve “solutions” were to cut salaries of administrators and medical school faculty, halt construction of new buildings, and tap into alleged hidden pots of money, they were substituting emotion for reason.


In my experience, the leaders of disruptive and confrontational protests pose a particular challenge to university administrators, because they usually are not open to reasoned discussion and they are unlikely to ameliorate their stance in light of new knowledge. Many university presidents have observed that, at the edges, protest movements can attract zealots and ideologues for whom the ends justify the means. Thus, in my own career, I have seen protest leaders fake hate crimes in order to stir up campus racial discord, block thoroughfares that were the only route for community ambulances and fire vehicles, and make inflammatory and untrue allegations about university administrators.

Such persons are difficult to reason with because they do not have a balanced picture of reality. They live in an anger-driven, black-and-white world of un-nuanced arguments, where it is acceptable to ignore facts and take them out of context, and to reject summarily options, tradeoffs, and compromises. Hence these words from a recent UC-Davis protest website: “The administration lies. The police lie. We are done negotiating with the administration, we’re doing things on our terms now: direct action, occupation, reclaiming public space.”

Once rhetoric reaches this stage, further negotiation with protest leaders becomes unproductive. Acquiescing to protester demands in this situation is unwise because doing so merely raises the stakes and results in more demands. The last thing such groups want is to fade from public awareness and be negotiated out of existence. For the leaders, the sense of camaraderie, excitement, anarchistic freedom, and the sheer exhilaration of their “movement” can become ends in themselves, supplanting their original goals.


7. Universities should never agree to grant amnesty to protesters, because doing so establishes an unacceptable precedent and sends a message to protesters that staging illegal confrontations are a way to accomplish their aims and that there will be no consequences for their actions.
Most important, however, is the following suggestion:
Again speaking from experience, the best way to defuse personal attacks is by not becoming rattled, avoiding responding in kind, and never failing to remain objective and even-handed. Presidents should also never, ever try to be funny. In the emotion-laden environment of a campus protest movement, an off-hand attempt at humor is guaranteed to backfire.
Better wipe that smile off your face, Birgeneau.

Free Speech

... and it went down in front of the Free Speech Cafe, no less.

Two UC Berkeley students get in trouble for flyering from Josh Wolf on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

TOOL of the Year: Dan Mogulof

The following is a letter sent this morning to UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof from the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP). The letter announces Mr. Mogulof’s selection as the Top Outstanding Oratorical Leader (TOOL) of the Year. The award will be given to Mr. Mogulof by UCMeP representatives at his office (101 Sproul Hall) during a very special ceremony on Friday, January 29 at 11:00AM. UCMeP would like to invite the entire UC community to celebrate this man’s wonderful and inspiring service to the University of California by attending the award ceremony.


Dear Mr. Mogulof,

It is with deep respect and admiration that we here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) write to express our gratitude for your masterful performance as UC Berkeley’s Executive Director of Public Affairs. The past months have been trying for all of us here at the University of California. We have seen “radical elements” infiltrate the most hallowed halls of our beloved university. Fanatics have corrupted young and old minds alike with their Bolshevism and dangerous demands to democratize the university’s decision-making processes. These extremists have terrorized us all with “incendiary devices,” militant strikes, fascist spectacles, and “childish” building occupations. Yet in the midst of such threats, you have helped us make sense of the chaos.

As the official spokesman of UC Berkeley, you have been there whenever our administrators, “fearing for their lives” were forced to hide in “undisclosed locations.” You have spoken courageously and eloquently on their behalf, waxing poetically on the value of autocracy during times of emergency. You are always there to answer questions when our leaders refuse to have more pressing business to which they must attend.

Your words have been like a light in darkness, a sherpa in the Himalayas, guiding the UC community and the larger public to conclusions that we simply could not have arrived at without your help. You have taught us not to be fooled by appearances: the face of extremism, you have reminded us repeatedly, is not the one hidden behind the mask of a riot-gear clad police officer wielding a taser in one hand and a truncheon in the other. No, the face of extremism belongs to the unarmed undergraduate who demands her voice be heard and concerns addressed.

You have shown that truth is not a given. That facts are never as concrete as they might seem. And evidence, well, evidence is merely a formality -- a pesky obstacle that only gets in the way of powerful people getting what they want.

For all of this and more, sir, UCMeP commends you and is pleased to name you the Top Outstanding Oratorical Leader (TOOL) of 2009. Your unflappable unashamedness, always-for-sale rhetorical talents, and wild imagination are to be applauded. You truly embody everything a TOOL stands for.

As UCMeP’s TOOL of the Year, we recognize that you are not simply an easily replaceable propagandist as some might claim (we’re looking at you, No, you are a first-rate (and highly paid) rhetorician who has studied the greats: Socrates and Shakespeare, Goebbels and Glenn Beck. You have mastered their secrets and clearly grasp that out of rhetoric’s holy trinity (ethos, logos, and pathos), the strategy of preying on populist emotion will always prevail. Who needs logic or ethics when you can mobilize fear to get your point across?

While you have demonstrated your magisterial oratorical abilities throughout your tenure at UC Berkeley, your skills have been most brilliantly on display in recent weeks. The unquestionable ease with which you routinely and indiscriminately denounce UC Berkeley students (and all those nefarious “non-students”) as criminals, vandals, and/or extremists (sometimes all three at once!) reveals both enviable talent and courage. Even more astounding has been your ability to deftly reverse our naïve notions of cause and effect. To compellingly argue that the early morning raid and arrests of 66 sleeping students in Wheeler Hall on December 11 was actually motivated by the terrorist action that took place later that night outside of Chancellor Birgeneau’s mansion demonstrates a formidable imagination.

UCMeP also commends you for your unwavering commitment to the welfare (sorry to use such an ugly word) of the University of California. Considering your paltry salary of $155,861.55 (, it is clear that you cherish UC Berkeley more than the students you regularly vilify in the press. Of course, your love for the university runs deeper than that of the student with a 4.0 GPA (who plans to work for Teach for America after graduation) who you and Governor Schwarzenegger recently defamed as a terrorist.

Now that the District Attorney has inexplicably decided to hold off pressing charges against this student and the seven others arrested during the vicious and well-coordinated arson attack on Chancellor Birgeneau’s home (all due to lack of evidence … psssh), we are proud that you are standing by your previous denunciations, evidence or not. An apology would merely show signs of weakness and demonstrate a wavering resolve. Who needs to apologize for ruining this young man’s reputation when budget cuts make it so that you will not get paid overtime for doing so?

We encourage you to not take your award lightly. Being named UCMeP’s TOOL of the Year comes with high expectations. You have received it not only in recognition of your past achievements, but also your incredible potential. We encourage you to continue finding innovative ways to challenge the students at the University of California. Keep thinking of new words and phrases to defame a movement that so dangerously calls for democracy, equality, diversity, justice, and the end of police violence. We send our most heartfelt congratulations, and are most confident that you will live up to the high standards of being a TOOL.

Faithfully yours,

The UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)

Facebook: UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

UCB Fucking Lies

The official SAO report is out and is circulating by email. It's been posted here. It's damning:
The Student Advocate’s Office (SAO), a non-partisan and executive office of the ASUC, is deeply concerned with the circumstances surrounding the university arrests of 66 individuals, including approximately 40 students, from Wheeler Hall on December 11, 2009. While we do not condone conduct that threatens the safety of the campus community and recognize that the planned unauthorized concert lacked the necessary safety precautions, we believe the administration did not adhere to procedures that were in the best interest of students. The following is a statement that addresses our concerns:

Following the arrests of students involved in the week-long “Open University” protests, UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof stated in a university press release that “there had been an understanding of access to certain areas and [the protestors] began to violate those understandings.” He continued by stating that the arrests were made “once the group refused to reconsider plans to hold an unauthorized all-night concert in an academic building.” However, when members of the SAO met with Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard out of concern for the arrested students, he provided reasons for the arrest that were not in line with the university’s public statements. Dean Poullard acknowledged that the university’s call for police intervention was not initially linked to the concert, but rather had been discussed earlier that week before the concert was publicized. His statements indicated that the arrests would have been made earlier in the week, but the university feared that the students would reoccupy campus buildings upon their release. This risk meant that arrests at the beginning of the occupation would be more costly to the university. Considering that the arrests were discussed prior to administrative knowledge of the concert, the SAO believes that the actions taken by the university were disingenuous. We believe the campus should be made aware of this discrepancy.

The prior discussion of the arrests calls into question the validity of the administration’s attempts to communicate with student organizers

Throughout the duration of the “Open University” protests, there was an understanding between the administration and the protestors that they would be allowed to stay inside Wheeler until Friday evening. At the same time, university officials were engaged in dialogue to plan the arrests of the protestors. The intentions of the administration must be called into question. The efforts to negotiate with the protestors were conducted in bad faith, leading students to believe that there was room for collaboration and communication when the administration had intended to move forward with police action all along.

The lack of an immediate dispersal warning was unfair and could have seriously jeopardized particularly vulnerable groups of students

The university had warned individuals in Wheeler Hall of legal and student code of conduct violations for four nights without taking any measures to enforce those warnings until the arrests that Friday. The routine nature of those warnings gave many students the false impression that their actions were an acceptable form of protest that was tolerated by the administration. This tacit agreement led many students to participate in the events who would otherwise have avoided Wheeler Hall had they anticipated the risk of severe punishment. The routine warning was administered at roughly 10 p.m. Thursday with a 6-7 hour gap before the arrests were made at 4:30 A.M. the following morning.

This large span of time between the last warning and the arrests ignores the possibility that some of the students present at 4:30 A.M. had not heard the warning. While the university states that its primary concern was preventing any disruption that could have been caused by the concert, it is unreasonable to assume that students present in Wheeler Hall at 4:30 A.M. would be the same attendees at the concert that was scheduled for 8 P.M. or involved in its planning. A significant number of students came to Wheeler Hall primarily to study, and most were asleep at the time of the arrests. The drastic shift from treating students as peaceful protestors for four days to hostile occupiers on the fifth was unnecessary and shows a disregard for student well-being. Beyond creating a criminal record for these students, the administration’s actions will also result in university conduct records that will have negative implications on the students’ academic careers.

Further, by not giving an immediate dispersal warning, the university failed to assess the danger that their actions posed to any AB540 or international students on site. Legal charges against any student under either category could have put the students at risk of deportation. Administrators did not take into account these potentially severe consequences.

The response to the “Open University” protests demonstrates the administration’s adversarial attitude towards student protestors

The discrepancy between university press releases and actual administrative plans to end the protest shows the administration’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for its actions. The failure to correct inaccurate information released to the public has misrepresented the indicted students’ behavior. It avoids any formal recognition that arrests were discussed earlier that week, and reveals a lack of sincere communication between student protestors and the administration leading up to the arrests. The SAO believes that in future instances of student activism, the university should not prioritize its reputation and financial concerns over the well-being of students. We hope that in the future the university will take measures to distinguish between those who pose a legitimate threat to campus safety and students who wish to engage in peaceful protest.
Update: Further analysis here:
The university’s stated justification for retaking Wheeler Hall — its need to to pre-empt a potentially disruptive concert that night and to ensure the building’s accessibility for finals twenty-eight hours later — explains none of the above decisions. But the reason the SAO offers — a desire to prevent students from mobilizing in the aftermath of the Wheeler Hall shutdown — explains them all. Indeed, the SAO’s charges lend new weight to a concern expressed by the ACLU of Northern California on the day of the arrests — that the mass arrests, and the decision to transport the arrestees to jail, may have been intended “to chill or prevent constitutionally protected expressive activities or to retaliate against demonstrators for their speech.”

No Charges

For the UC8.

UC Berkeley's MO: arrest randomly, allege serious charges with impossibly high bail... don't file charges. Lies, lies, and more lies. Also, criminal lies.

Also, zero evidence.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Academic Freedom @ UC Berkeley

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: A Message from the Committee on Academic Freedom About Classroom Conduct of Faculty
From: "Academic Senate, Berkeley Division"
Date: Mon, December 7, 2009 6:05 pm
To: "Academic Senate Faculty, Emeriti,"

Members of the Academic Senate:

This fall, our University has been confronted with a series of contentious issues. We realize that many of us are using the on-going debates on campus as an opportunity to talk about current events in the classroom. In many cases, this can provide a valuable form of pedagogy. As result of student concerns that have been relayed to us we, the Committee on Academic Freedom, remind the Senate that our freedom to teach is balanced by our responsibilities not to misuse our position of power within the classroom so as to proselytize our particular political views, or to leave students feeling excluded from our community. For example, some student athletes have reported feeling singled out in discussions of campus athletics. Our discussions of all issues should be framed in awareness that our students hold a variety of political views. More generally, we must take care not to insert discussion into the classroom that is not germane to our course content.

Our responsibility to establish a classroom environment that is conducive to student learning and free inquiry derives from the rights and responsibilities provided to us through the principle of Academic Freedom. The University of California statement of Academic Freedom is found in a few brief paragraphs in the Academic Personnel Manual (APM 010). Of particular importance is the relationship of our Academic Freedom to our students, via the classroom. This was recently recognized by the System-wide Academic Senate through the adoption of the "Student Freedom of Scholarly Inquiry", which is Appendix B to APM 010. Both APM 010 and the Appendix B point out the important, but sometimes delicate, boundary between the discussion of contentious issues in the classroom, and the creation of an atmosphere where segments of the student population begin to feel marginalized. Academic Freedom bears with it the "correlative duties of professional care when teaching" (APM 010), and thus we encourage all Senate members to carefully review or acquaint themselves with our principles of Academic Freedom, and to carefully apply them with our colleagues and our students.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Yaman Said

Don't give Birgeneau a free pass to shut down student organizing:
One need not agree with whatever happened at the Chancellor’s mansion to resist the administration’s attempt to co-opt independent student forces by soliciting their blanket condemnation of the incident.

Governor Schwarzenegger finally took notice of public education after the incident, calling individuals who were allegedly involved “terrorists.” Earlier today the Chancellor and his PR spokesperson Dan Mogulof echoed a similar approach, calling them “extremists.” Of course, we have no idea what actually happened yet, or if police provocateurs played any role, but it is clear that with this incident the administration and police hope to obtain a pretext to further suppress student organizing efforts. Students should not give it to them -- even if they disagree with what their peers are accused of doing.

Problems began last Friday morning when the Chancellor’s police raided the Open University, a beautiful show of a student-run university, at 5am, sending over 60 students to jail for the day despite agreements between administrators and Open University strikers to keep the hall open until the evening.

After the arrests, the University was quick to invoke its new doctrine of “preemptive” police raids, claiming that an advertised concert was actually an intent to violate that agreement. The University gives itself away here, though, because if protestors merely “intended” to break the agreement, then the University is admitting they had committed no such violation. Instead, the Chancellor himself was the first to violate it. Such a breach on the University’s part only re-affirms that the administration cannot be trusted in these matters, given its eagerness to shut down the student movement as a whole. Why else would it use such extreme punitive measures of raid and arrest and jail time to students in their pajamas, if not to send a deterrent message to other students?

One week ago marked the anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. Today, that movement is praised on a consensus even by University officials and conservative parts of the student body. However we should not forget that when that movement was still growing, University officials took strong positions against it, engaging in smear campaigns against the strikers similar to the one we see today. One need only visit the Free Speech Cafe at Moffitt Library to confirm this by reading the headlines printed on the coffee tables. What won out in the end was not conforming to the behaviors and ideologies espoused or tolerated by administrators, but strong student resolve against the administration and even against police attempts to arrest strikers. Today the very same people maligning the student movement pretend to praise the FSM, but their position is incoherent and does not actually show any regard whatsoever to political activism.

Students today face a similar scenario. The administration wants to impose a specific topology on the student movement, pressuring all students to affirm their belonging to one area of the map and not another. The governor has adopted the Bush language of terrorism to demonize the movement that his own gutting of public education created, and the administration has invoked the Bush doctrine of pre-emption to justify police raids and mass arrests even in the absence of criminal activity or evidence thereof. Students should not allow the administration to set parameters on discourse or action. If such parameters are to exist, they should be created by students with common aims and not by the administration when it exploits events like these for its own sake.

In forging a new language of political engagement and action, students will face vigorous resistance from the powers that be. Minor events like today’s, involving few students, will be characterized by administrators and cooperating media as flash points marking the ominous direction of the student movement at large. Incidents where police deployment was so clearly inappropriate will be let aside as incidents like these are foregrounded to justify future police presence and action against protesters. Everybody will pay attention to violence against the Chancellor, even as the Chancellor orders violence against student strikers acting well within their rights.

What gives the Chancellor the pretext to shut down the student movement, though, are not the actions of a few people but the reactions of the rest of the movement. If we allow them to shift the focus to these incidents, instead of fee hikes, program cuts, police brutality, and abominable mismanagement, then they have done all they need to do to preserve their own power. Even if a wrong is ever committed, students should never give the administration or police a free hand to do with the accused as they please. After all, no rhetorical concessions are necessary on the part of student organizers and activists to keep moving forward -- and they must move forward, because -- do not forget this -- the administration is comfortable not moving at all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

5 Axioms

Details here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Scared, part 2 [Homeland Security Edition!]

Update #1:
Building Coordinator Information Update #1

12/2/09 0740

Building Closure Plan

Sproul Hall and California Hall will be closed on Wednesday, 12/2/09, to the public. Faculty and staff employees will be permitted entry into the building upon presenting their UC ID.

For California Hall: Normal entrance procedures will be followed utilizing the East door for access/egress.

For Sproul Hall: Faculty/Staff employees will present their ID’s to the UCPD personnel staffing the 1st floor south entrance. This entrance will be designated as the ingress point for the building (DP access will be through the south basement entrance). Signs will be posted at other entrances.

Student employees for either building needing access will need to contact their respective department/unit to have a faculty or staff member come to the 1st floor south entrance to verify their accessibility.

We will keep you informed throughout the day regarding the on-going activities.

Stephen Stoll
OEP/Homeland Security
UC Police Department
Update #2:


This is to advise you that there is a possibility of disruptive activity in the vicinity of your building on December 2, 2009. Please be advised that the UCPD will be monitoring any activities that may occur and will work to maintain the safety of all in the area.

Your help is needed in the following areas:

o Early on December 2,2009

. Have some key managers watch University Cal Messages bulletins throughout the day. . If your building must be shut down early in the a.m., please have key managers outside of the closed area in the designated meeting location, meeting department staff and students to provide them with redirection information.

. Work with deans and department heads to identify plan for the day if the building remains inaccessible beyond 10 a.m.

o During the day:

. Fire Alarm pulls. If the fire alarms are pulled, key managers should ensure that building occupants leave the building, locking doors as they go.

. Report fire alarm pulls to UCPD, particularly any description of those seen pulling the alarms.

. Release of building following fire alarm pulls may take longer than normal. Manager will want to advise
employees to return to a set meeting location by a time specific to re-enter the building.

. Monitor Cal Messages for campus-wide information updates.

. Call 642-6760 for update information and concerns.

o Building Occupation.

. It would be helpful to take some precautionary measures and keep unused areas locked during the day

. If a group chooses to sit in the building or otherwise occupy an area within the building.

. Lock remaining doors to prevent further occupation if possible.

. UCPD will likely be with the group. Call UCPD if there are no apparent police officers present.

. Do not attempt to engage or argue with the demonstrators.

. Wait for police direction regarding evacuation.

. Call 643-6001for information regarding expectations with regard to the Human Resources.

. Listen to staff concerns that may arise. Reiterate that UCPD management of the situation will ensure safety of
building occupants. Be flexible with regard to continued employee concerns about safety.

Call 642-6760 or 642-3333 via cell phone for further assistance with employee safety concerns.
Building on this.

A Call to the Future from In and Around Occupied Wheeler, Nov. 20, 2009

From Anti-Capital Projects:
On Friday, Nov. 20th a brilliant revelation appeared on UC Berkeley campus. Students and workers on this campus held true to their aging chants and actually stood up and fought back. Mocking the days preceding where apathy seemed to reign on campus, when we forced ourselves to mutter “Whose University? Our University,” while shuffling along and doing our duty as concerned citizens, for once, in and around occupied Wheeler we really meant it.

The fight inside Wheeler Hall by the occupiers in order to win their four demands translated into an incredible show of solidarity outside the building. We linked arms with once strangers, surrounded all exits and went as far as to build barricades two buildings away, to prevent the imprisonment of our friends via underground passageways. For 12 hours we shone light on a new horizon in this struggle. The occupiers inside were fighting for us and we were outside fighting for them and for the first time in decades thousands on our campus stood together taking direct action, not passively listening to speakers at a rally and not marching in circles.

The spontaneous organization outside of Wheeler has been criticized for being exactly that, but here we would like to commend it. We saw lines be redistributed to maintain three-deep levels, people dispatching themselves to watch-out for police movements and to bring food and water to those at the barricades. The words “solidarity” and “democracy” have been thrown around and emptied out for far too long. At the Wheeler Occupation we put action back into solidarity and we voted with our raised fists not with raised hands. Ultimately, while we did not win any of the four demands from inside of the occupation, the demand from the multitudes outside was victorious as our friends emerged from the building without cuffs to join us.

Of course the police responded, but we need to make one thing clear: at the Wheeler Occupation we were not victims. Yes we had our fingers smashed and yes we did survive the police batons and rubber bullets but more importantly we stood our ground and did not back down. We provided a glimpse of what is possible when we are united in action and not divided by sectarianism of ideology or rank.

Speaking of sectarianism, at the Wheeler Occupation there were a considerable number of the Cal faculty and others on the higher levels of the university food chain who stood shoulder to shoulder with us and they must be commended for their courage. On the other hand some of the more prominent figures continued to enforce their authority and attempted to talk the occupiers inside into surrendering and those outside into sitting down or leaving. To these faculty, officials in the student government and student organizers we ask that you shed these positions of power and join us horizontally the next time we take action.

Some have criticized our actions on the grounds of depriving students of their sacred class time. Let’s not pretend that education is about robotically copying equations from the blackboard or regurgitating facts on the midterm or final. While this atomized education might have been disrupted for one day, a collective learning experience, far more educational in all respects, was provided to all at Berkeley. This is something to cherish and further, not to shun. In struggling together we learn deeper than in any classroom curriculum.

November 20th was a learning experience in how effective we can be if we stand together. We are not looking for a return to the status quo before this latest financial crisis. The privatization of the university did not start over the summer, it has been implemented for decades and this latest crisis is seen as an opportunity for its furtherance. Although the defunding of public education must be challenged, appeals to Sacramento for more cash will not reverse the activities of the current and past corrupt administrations. Nor will it abolish the prison industrial complex, which stands in stark contrast to public education in terms of funding. There is a deep systemic problem that goes farther than UC Berkeley. Austerity measures of the kind being implemented on this campus are also implemented by the state and federal government and thus the struggle must be expanded beyond the university. But from our immediate position, as long as we don’t subvert the current power structure in the UC system, more state funding will mean more privatization, higher wage differentials and the increased financialization of our futures.

We are calling for more bold direct actions that continue to escalate the struggle and reclaim the university not for what it once was but for what it might actually become. Start organizing with each other, disrupt the zombie routine on campus, it’s time to rise from the dead.

Thank you to everyone who fought on November 20th. See you on the barricades next time.

This call comes from a diverse group of numerous UC students and faculty who have been involved in planning direct actions and occupations on the UC Berkeley campus.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Statement from ASUC/UCPD "Forum"

The ASUC/UCPD "Police Forum" was crashed earlier tonight. As soon as the first cop began to speak everyone in the room stood up and he was interrupted with the following statement. Then everyone walked out.
Behind every fee increase, a line of riot cops . . . The privatization of the UC system and the impoverishment of student life, the UC administration’s conscious choice to shift its burden of debt onto the backs of its students -- these can be maintained only by way of police batons, tasers, barricades and pepper spray. These are two faces of the same thing. As students and workers we are hit first by fees and layoffs, and then by police batons. Privatization closes off the supposedly public spaces of this public university, erecting a wall that grows higher and higher with each passing year. Privatization is the metal barricades that the riot police set up around Wheeler Hall. Privatization and the police are the twinned forces of exclusion.

This violence is not new; it is only that, for many of us, it has remained invisible at UC Berkeley. The scandal is the reapearance on campus of what the Oakland and Berkeley police and the Alameda County Sheriffs do every day to poor people -- without video cameras present, without stories in the New York Times or letters from concerned faculty. But the university has never been autonomous from the violence of society; we will not forget this fact. The furniture in our classrooms -- the furniture with which the occupiers of Wheeler barricaded the doors to protect themselves against the police -- was made by prisoners in San Quentin. This is the truth of the university: it is guaranteed by state violence just as the UC’s bonds are guaranteed by our fees.

No investigation, no review process, no dialogue can change this structural truth.

To put it directly: the police are the antithesis of dialogue. There can be no dialogue under threat of violence, with the police standing in the background grinning, rhythmically slapping their clubs on their palms, telling us to “Get ready for the beatdown.” They provide the assurance that speech isn’t free even when officially promised, as our 14 friends and colleagues who were arrested during the public comment session of the regents’ meeting in UCLA will attest to. There can be no dialogue while the police are on campus; they are the threat. We refuse to smother our outrage, cover our wounds, put on a smile, and exchange pleasantries in quiet voices with those who beat us. The invitation to dialogue is pathological -- they beat us one day, and invite us to share our feelings about it the next.

So we will not give them the satisfaction of participating in this charade. We reject the naive suggestion that “mutual understanding” is possible -- you will never understand us, but we understand you. We understand that you were “just following orders,” that these fee hikes are “necessary measures,” that we all have to “tighten our belts,” that the “rule of law” must be enforced. We understand where all of this puts you: on the other side of the barricades, defending the interests of privatization and capital. We will talk with you once you put down your badges and your weapons and join us on this side. Until then, there can be nothing between us except enmity.


From: Claudette Begin [cbegin@********.***]
Date: December 1, 2009 3:10:25 PM PST

Building Coordinators
As you may have heard, in conjunction with tomorrow’s planned “Free Speech Rally”, there may be other associated activities around the campus, including potential marches through campus buildings and “sit-ins”. These activities may present some unique challenges for the campus as the majority of our facilities are open to the public.
Although we do not expect any malicious activities, its possible your building may be marched through or even have minor disruptions, so it is best to be a little more vigilant for those who may be roaming our halls.
It might be good to review standard operating procedures for this eventuality (see below).
Please remind your building occupants of the following procedures should marchers enter your building:
If marchers enter your building, let them. Try to carry on business as usual. If the noise becomes too great, or the crowd too large, feel free to close and lock your office doors - this is a departmental decision.
Do not close your buildings unless the Police advise you to.
As always, if you have questions please feel free to contact the UC Police department at 642-6760 or call via cell phone to 642-3333.
From an informational perspective, if you observe any unusual gatherings or activities in your building/facility, if you observe any suspicious activities or if you experience actual disruptions to classrooms or administrative routines, call UCPD (642-6760 or 642-3333) and we will provide the appropriate support.
We will be utilizing the BC email as a conduit for campus-wide specific information we need to disseminate, so please check your email regularly.
Thank you for helping get the word out!