UAW 2865 resolution condemning Nov. 9 charges and stay away orders

Adopted by the Berkeley local on March 20

Whereas on November 9th, 2011 hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members at the
University of California, Berkeley participated in a peaceful protest to support the restoration
of funding to public education in the state of California, and to challenge and criticize efforts
at privatizing education on the UC Berkeley campus and throughout the UC system;

Whereas the membership of our local, UAW 2865, fully endorsed these efforts and many of
our members were both participants and leaders in this protest;

Whereas a General Assembly of 10,000 at this protest voted overwhelmingly to support the
setting up of tents in solidarity with the worldwide Occupy movement to symbolize the fact
that those who determine the fate of our university, including the Regents, are members of
the 1% and to reclaim space on our campus for discussion, debate, and learning;

Whereas in an effort to take down these tents, police officers from UCPD and the Alameda
County Sheriff’s Office used unnecessary and brutal force to bludgeon, shove, drag and
arrest students, teachers, and community supporters, including many of our members, who
were engaged in non-violent protest;

Whereas video of this brutality incurred national outrage and compelled the UC
Administration to launch both an internal police operational review and a Police Review
Board investigation, and forced Chancellor Birgeneau to reverse his position on the events,
taking “full responsibility” in an email to the campus dated November 14th, 2011;

Whereas as part of his apology for the events and in the same email, Chancellor Birgeneau
announced that all students who were arrested for participation in the protest would
receive “amnesty” from student conduct charges;

Whereas despite this apparent “amnesty,” UC Police continued to investigate and seek out
information regarding participants in this protest, including surveillance footage of other non-
violent protests, and possibly using the partial medical records of those students who
sought medical attention for injuries sustained by police on the 9th at the Tang Center and
the testimony of students and union members who participated in the Police Review Board

Whereas more than four months after November 9th, thirteen members of the campus
community, including four of our members who had not been arrested on the 9th, received
charges for their alleged participation in these protests;

Whereas these members have now received “Stay Away Orders” from all UC property,
making it impossible for them to participate in the normal life of the university, as well as to
carry out their responsibilities as both instructors and students, and appear to constitute
prior restraint on constitutionally protected activities;

Whereas these charges have created a chilling effect on free speech and protest
throughout the campus, not only for those who are explicitly prohibited in participating in
their constitutional right to free speech as a consequence of these stay-away orders, but
also for all those who participated in the November 9th protests and now fear prosecution;

Whereas these charges appear to be a politically motivated attempt to attack and silence
student leaders and create a culture of fear, as well as an effort on the part of UCPD to
defend themselves against both investigation and legal consequences for their brutality on
the 9th…

We, the Berkeley Unit of UAW Local 2865 hereby condemn the actions of the Alameda
County DA in pursuing these charges, the UCPD for their use of political targeting and legal
prosecution as a means of avoiding responsibility for their behavior on the 9th, and the UC
Administration for their silence and complicity in silencing dissent and disrupting the lives of
Berkeley students, workers and faculty.

We, the Berkeley Unit of UAW Local 2865 also call for the Alameda County DA’s office to
immediately drop all charges against the thirteen defendants and for the UCPD to issue a
full, transparent report on their role in bringing these charges to the DA’s office. We also call
upon Judge Seeman of the Alameda County Criminal Court to immediately reverse his
decision and drop the stay-away orders that now prevent students and faculty from
participating in the university and that constitute prior restraint on their right to free speech.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: