Irvine Faculty Association Statement in Support of the Berkeley Faculty Association Petition

“In support of the Berkeley Faculty Association, the Irvine Faculty Association calls upon UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to request specifically that the Alameda County District Attorney’s office drop charges it has filed against at least 8 people (students, faculty, and a coordinator for BAMN) involved in a campus protest last November 9. As is well known, UCPD beat nonviolent protesters at that gathering. Chancellor Birgeneau’s recent statement (http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/03/14/campus-administration-sends-message-to-da-about-november-protest-charges/) forwards the BFA’s petition in support of protesters and reminds the District Attorney, vaguely, to be mindful of the campus context, instead of stating his own view. It calls for consideration of the petition, rather than endorsing the petition. UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi took a stronger stand following the pepper-spraying of protesters on her campus, having “asked Acting UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael to work with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to drop all criminal charges against the several individuals — at least nine of them students — who were arrested that day” (http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10087&hp=1). Clearly, it is open to Chancellor Birgeneau to do the same. His failure to do so is inconsistent with the statement he issued thirteen days after the beatings, in which he “sincerely apologize[s] for the events of November 9″ and “take[s] full responsibility for these events.” Birgeneau’s decision to grant amnesty under the Student Code of Conduct to November 9 student protesters is not meaningful if at the same time he fails to request that their criminal charges be dropped. In concern for the University’s failure to support freedom of speech and political dissent, and in support of the BFA’s efforts to secure these rights for the UC community, we call on Chancellor Birgeneau to rectify this situation.”

Irvine Faculty Association Executive Board

Mark LeVine, Chair

Dina al-Kassim

Eyal Amiran

Antoinette LaFarge

Irene Tucker

For additional background information:

Watch: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/11/11/full_video_39_arrested_with_occupy_cal_in_forceful_crackdown_on_student_protest_at_uc_berkeley

Read: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/03/08/criminal-charges-filed-against-4-occupy-cal-protestors/

Read: http://www.baycitizen.org/occupy-movement/story/uc-berkeley-pledges-investigate-police/

Read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/new-emails-reveal-uc-berkeley-knew-of-baton-use_n_1291468.html?ir=San%20Francisco

Read: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/at-occupy-berkeley-beat-poets-has-new-meaning.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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