Friday, March 30, 2012

UC Davis Faculty Petition in Opposition to Retroactive Legal Measures Against Student Demonstrators

Reposted from the Davis Faculty Association:

UC Davis Faculty who support the following petition concerning retroactive legal measures taken against student protesters should forward their name and title to

March 21, 2012

Dear Chancellor Katehi and Provost Hexter,

On March 16, The UC Davis Dateline newsletter for faculty and staff announced the closure of the UC Davis branch office of the US Bank and the cancellation by the bank of its contract with the University. The closure of the branch and cancellation of the contract were due to a blockade of the branch office carried out by student and faculty protesters from January through March. It is important to understand the political content of this blockade: the demonstrators continually stated their opposition to the substitution of private contracts for public funding of the UC system, and they continually pointed out conflicts of interest related to University contracts with corporations profiting from student loan interest as the UC administration continues to increase tuition, thus forcing many students to take out increased loans.

We reiterate our support for the principled and determined actions of UC students and faculty to defend the public character of the UC system against privatization, a goal with which the blockade of the US Bank branch was consistent.

The announcement of the bank’s closure in Dateline also included the following two paragraphs:

“As of today (March 16), UC Davis police had forwarded six cases to the Yolo County district attorney’s office, recommending prosecution for violating Penal Code sections that make it a misdemeanor to ‘willfully and maliciously’ obstruct the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk or other public place, or to intentionally interfere with any lawful business.

“Mike Cabral, assistant chief deputy district attorney, said March 15 that the district attorney’s office had not yet completed its review of the case files—and that a decision on whether to prosecute is likely to come Monday or Tuesday (March 19 or 20). If the decision is made to go forward, the district attorney’s office will notify the suspects by mail, ordering them to appear in court.”

We write in opposition to the UC Davis administration’s decision to have these cases forwarded to the DA by the police, and we ask that the administration recognize the *political* content of the US Bank blockade rather than treating it as a criminal matter.

Opposition to the use of force against demonstrating students in November 2011 was not only directed against police brutality, but also against the UC Davis administration’s repression of political activism on our campus. We view the use of retroactive legal actions against demonstrating students as an effort to carry out such repression of political activity while attempting to evade the public scrutiny to which the administration’s repressive measures have been subjected. Moreover, in this case these retroactive legal actions clearly target a small sub–‐group of the demonstrators involved in blockading the bank, suggesting that specific demonstrators are being targeted for selective prosecution so as to single out and intimidate the most active student protesters.

For these reasons, we ask that the administration urge the district attorney’s office, in writing, to exercise its option not to prosecute those cases that have been forwarded in relation to the US Bank blockade, or to reverse the decision to prosecute if it has already been made. Further, we request an end to the use of retroactive legal action as a punitive measure against political protesters on our campus.

Don Abbott — Professor of English
Josephine Andrews — Associate Professor, Political Science
Raul Aranovich — Associate Professor of Linguistics
Carlee Arnett — Associate Professor German and Russian
Chris Benner — Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development; Chair, Geography Graduate Group
Gina Bloom — Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, English, Co-Director of the Mellon Research Initiative in Early Modern Studies
Larry Bogad — Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance
John Bowman — Professor, Department of Plant Biology
Anne Britt — Professor, Department of Plant Biology
Kenneth Britten — Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
Nathan Brown — Assistant Professor of English
Marisol de la Cadena — Professor of Anthropology
Steve Carlip — Professor of Physics
Patrick E. Carroll — Associate Professor of Sociology
Seeta Chaganti — Associate Professor of English
Daniel Cox — Professor of Physics
Katayoon (Katie) Dehesh — Professor, Plant Biology; Chair of Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology
Natalia Deeb-Sossa — Assistant Professor, Chicana/o Studies
Fran Dolan — Professor of English
JoAnne Engebrecht — Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Rida Farouki — Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Daniel Ferenc — Professor of Physics
Margaret Ferguson — Distinguished Professor of English
Jaimey Fisher — Assoc. Prof., German and Cinema & Technocultural Studies, Director, Cinema & Technocultural Studies
Jeff Fort — Assistant Professor, French
Laura Grindstaff — Professor of Sociology, Director, Consortium for Women and Research
Noah Guynn — Associate Professor of French
Robin Hill — Professor, Department of Art
Hsuan Hsu — Associate Professor of English
Suad Joseph — Professor, Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies
Caren Kaplan — Professor, American Studies
George Kaysen — Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Ian Kennedy — Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Richard S. Kim — Associate Professor, Asian American Studies
Joe Kiskis — Professor of Physics
Neil Larsen — Professor, Department of Comparative Literature
Lyn H Lofland — Research Professor of Sociology
Marjorie Longo — Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
William Lucas — Professor of Plant Biology
Markus A. Luty — Professor of Physics
Sunaina Maira — Professor, Asian American Studies
James Marcin, MD, MPH — Professor – Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Director, Pediatric Telemedicine
Darrin Martin — Associate Professor of Art Studio
William Mason — Professor Emeritus, Psycology
Bill McCarthy — Professor of Sociology
Sally McKee — Professor of History
Elizabeth Carolyn Miller — Associate Professor of English
Flagg Miller — Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the Graduate Group in Religion and Director of the Middle East / South Asia Program
E. O. Milton — Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics
Susette Min — Associate Professor, Asian American Studies
Stephanie Lee Mudge — Assistant Professor of Sociology
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder — Professor of Anthropology
Almerindo Ojeda — Professor of Linguistics
Marijane Osborn — Professor Emeritus, English
Noha Radwan — Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature
Simon Sadler — Professor of Design
Valeria La Saponara — Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Richard Scalettar — Professor of Physics
Seth L. Schein — Professor of Comparative Literature
Omnia El Shakry — Associate Professor of History
Scott Shershow — Professor of English; Chair of the Davis Faculty
Blake Stimson — Professor, Cinema and Technocultural Studies Association
David Simpson — Distinguished Professor of English, G.B. Needham Chair
Bradford Smith — Professor Emeritus, Veterinary Medicine: Medicine and Epidemiology
Eric Smoodin — Professor, Program in American Studies
Daniel A. Starr — Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Alan J. Stemler — Professor Emeritus — Plant Biology Dept.
Pieter Stroeve — Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Co-Director of the California Solar Energy Collaborative
Dawn Sumner — Professor of Geology
Baki Tezcan — Associate Professor of History, and Religious Studies
Steven M. Theg — Professor of Plant Biology
Eddy U — Associate Professor of Sociology
Archana Venkatesan — Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Literature & Program in Religious Studies
Evan Watkins — Professor of English
Karen Watson-Gegeo — Professor of Language, Literacy and Culture
Joe Wenderoth — Professor of English
Stephen Wheeler — Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Stefan Wuertz — Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michael Ziser — Associate Professor, English

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