The UC Regents’ Meeting @ UC Riverside began early today. Most mainstream media were inside the HUB building in which the Regents gathered. While we waited outside, reports from inside were telling that the public comment session was often interrupted by the Regents in their failed attempts to appease the student protesters who only had 1 minute each to express themselves. One comment was that regent Sherry Lansing tried to address the students by the usual means of misdirecting the students efforts towards the capital. The reports were that her comment was “useless and boring”. After the public comment session was done with, the students offered their own meeting via mic check. But the Regents did nothing but hide in another room with very few people allowed in from the public. Police remained inside but did not move to arrest anybody. At around 1 p.m. everybody was running from the front doors of the HUB to the back doors through which the Regents were supposed to make their quick escape. Students took over a staircase and then another as police in riot gear blocked their way. Administrators were seen at the windows and balconies of the buildings while talking on their cell phones, taking video, and laughing at the people below them.
The police issued several orders to disperse and every time the students booed them and asked them “Why do we need to disperse? Give us a reason!” But the police only managed to repeat the same statement over and over. At one point the Chancellor of UC Riverside, Timothy P. White was seen on the balcony and was confronted by students asking to be allowed into the building and to the meeting. Upon being recognized, he quickly left the balcony and went back inside the building to never be seen again.
Later in the day, at around 3:30 p.m. the students were notified by scouts that the police were gathering in the back to make way for the exit of the Regents. Students split their ranks and took both exits, but no Regents were seen. At 4:30 p.m. (give or take) the Riverside Police Department sent in re-enforcements and the police line started their push back on the back side of the HUB building next to the parking lot.
Rubber bullets and pepper balls were fired. The police was chased over to the other side of the building. Over 5 people were arrested and there was a rumor that a fence was thrown at the riot police.
The charges that some people have received are the following: (Felony) Assault with a deadly weapon ($25,000 bail).
From a friend of the arrested: “[My friend] was arrested at the UC Riverside Regents meeting today. [He] is a lecturer and member of UC-AFT (the union I work for) at UCR, a well-known artist, and prominent critic of the UC system, including the Regents and President Yudof. I apologize if this is too informal but I know many of you know [him] personally and many more know of him and his work. My coworker at UCR is working to secure union funds to bail him out so that he’s not held over the weekend. I don’t have a lot more details than this, especially concerning his charges or bail, but I do know from hearing witnesses that he was sitting down when police approached him and arbitrarily arrested him, and I’m absolutely sure, as many of you likely are too, that he was arrested because of his dissent, not for any real ‘crime’.” ]
- Cops and Cowards: Reflections on the Recent UC Regents Protest – Anti-Imperialist Theorizing
- LA Times