Archive for the ‘UC Irvine’ Category

UCI students visited by the FBI

8 January 2013

[Correction: The previous post on this incident contained inaccurate information regarding the subject of the investigation and was retracted.  The FBI has not mentioned the Muslim Students Union or Students for Justice in Palestine during their questioning.]

from OccupyUCI:

The FBI is seeking information from UCI activists, again

Today a UCI activist comrade was approached by the FBI.

Two FBI agents showed up at the parent’s house wanting to know information on another activist on campus.

This is how the conversation went:

FBI: Do you know X?
Comrade: I do not want to talk to you, I want to talk to my lawyer.

Under NO circumstances talk to the FBI or any cops!  ANYTHING you say can implicate your friends and yourself.  Do not attempt to say something smart thinking that you are being clever in responding.  Even saying “I don’t know” can result in perjury charges.  Additionally, do NOT invite them into your home.  This is leaves open the opportunity for the FBI to search and gather clues lying around your home.  If they come to your doorway step outside, close the door behind you and say “I do not want to talk to you, I want to talk to my lawyer.”  Tell them a lawyer will get in touch with them.  If they do not leave ask “Am I being detained.” if they say No, WALK AWAY.

This is all intimidating, they want you to be intimidated! Do not let them coerce you into talking, you have the right to remain silent and not implicate your friends and yourself in anything.  They do not look as scary as they seem, they in fact look a little douchey, twenty-something, right out of the academy.  If you weren’t looking any closer, you could mistake them for Jevoha’s witnesses, or Mormons.

Regardless, treat the FBI like vampires, do not invite them in, do not talk to them, do not let their charms fool you!

Here is an excerpt  Not Yr Cister Press, in response to Leah and Grand Jury subpoenas in Portland:

“Whether or not Leah provided information substantial to indictments, her cooperation facilitated the grand jury investigation. Frequently stated in grand jury resistance trainings is that answering even “harmless” seeming questions can have highly damaging outcomes. What appears insignificant could be an essential link in the prosecutor’s case. Further, stating “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” could potentially open you up to perjury charges. Finally, the State had, until October 17, encountered a mostly solid wall of resistance. Their strategy had failed to break solidarity among anarchists. In coercing testimony from Leah, the State damaged the credibility of those who publicly resist.

This point—that even limited cooperation is harmful—cannot be emphasized enough. Saying anything to a grand jury is a problem. Say nothing.”

Solidarity with all Grand Jury Resistors, Solidarity with all activists facing political persecution.  Solidarity with all prisoners.

Here are also some good readings:

Occupy Legal (Mainly serving the Bay Area) 

NLG: You have the right to remain silent (PDF)


Still Waiting for ‘Real Action’: UC’s Repeated Failure to Address Campus Racism

9 March 2012

from WeAreStillTheCrisis:

As many in the UCLA community are now aware, the door to students’ off-campus apartment was vandalized with anti-Mexican and sexist messages on the morning of Monday, February 27.  As tragic as this isolated event was, it is more illustrative of the broader campus climate on one hand, and, on the other, the complete inability of campus and system administrators to effectively address these situations and ensure the safety of their female students and students of color.

Before looking at the Daily Bruin editorial penned by Christine Mata, Assistant Dean of Students for Campus Climate, it’s important to rewind several years and place this event in the proper context. (more…)

Irvine 11 found guilty of all charges

23 September 2011

Santa Ana, CA — 10 of the defendants in the Irvine 11 case have been found guilty of conspiracy and disturbing the peace. Court is in recess until 1:30pm, when Judge Peter Wilson will read the sentences.

One of the defendants had previously had his charges dropped in exchange for community service after it had been found that some of his charges resulted from a confidential email between him and his attorney which was obtained by the District Attorney’s office.

The guilty verdict comes 19 months after the 11 were arrested for disrupting a speech on campus by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

During the trial, defense attorneys pointed out that the 11 had disrupted Oren for just a few minutes, while Professor Mark Petracca and other administrators spent more time ostracizing and paternalizing students on “civility” and “appropriate behavior.” Oren himself delayed the speech by nearly a half hour, and cut the talk short in order to attend the LA Lakers game that evening. Defense attorneys also pointed to other disruptions that didn’t result in charges, including Senator Joe Wilson’s heckling of President Obama and previous disruptions of Muslim Student Union events by Zionists as the police looked on. (Occupy UCI has a similar analysis of past speaker disruptions and heckling)

We will post additional updates once the sentences are made public, but in any case this will have a serious impact on all protest in Orange County, especially the UCI 19 case which is headed to trial November 8. In a society in which one can be found guilty of conspiracy for planning a protest, then all dissent is rendered illegal.

UPDATE, 2:30pm: Because all of the defendants have clean records, they will receive NO JAIL TIME but instead will receive 3 years of informal probation and 56 hours of community service at a non-profit organization.  The judge said that the actions of the 11 were political, and that they are productive members of the community.

BREAKING: UCIPD Simulating an Anti-Occupation Operation at UC Irvine

15 September 2011

IRVINE, California – We have just received word from our comrades at UC Irvine that as of 3:00pm today, UCIPD and Irvine PD are running an anti-occupation operation at the Gateway Commons Study Center at UC Irvine.  Campus and/or police staff are pretending to be student protesters and are simulating the occupation of the Gateway Commons building, while police are in full SWAT gear and Irvine PD are dressed in olive green and brown military fatigues.  The “protesters” reportedly are throwing water bottles at police.  The UCI Press Office would not comment when called.

Gateway was the site of a brief—but failed—occupation attempt on March 4, 2010, following a rally of nearly 1000 students that left campus and blocked Campus and University Drives.

UPDATE: A UCI undergrad made the following notes regarding the operation:

I am on campus today and I am currently witnessing a protest simulation complete with UC Irvine SWAT teams, police, fake protesters, and the fire department. It looks like a really strange farce. They are “protesting” outside of Gateway in a “closed” off area around the library. The protesters are simulating what “protesters” act like, confronting officers, yelling, and running around the building with picket signs and megaphones. There are also photographers and camera men “capturing” the event . . . . There were a lot of SWAT on campus and I thought they had a real emergency going on. It seems it has been going on for over an hour. The protesters even have fake “speeches” and chants.

A sign reads “Police Training 8am- 4pm.” People are changing “Join us for peace,” “We want something.” There’s a camera crew capturing the “event” from different angles, Orange County people with picket signs saying “No Peter” and blocking the Gateway center . . . . Police in swat gear are “confronting” protesters who are “booing.” They’re rehearsing to act intimidating, practicing how to surround the building and the perimeter. “This a protest, be LOUD.” The practice is going inside the Gateway building, police are ready to come into the scene. “No Peter” signs, a sign reading “I have a sign!” More chants: “Join us, don’t you believe in freedom and justice?” “Hell no, we won’t go.”

(more notes, written a little after)

The fake protesters did NOT look like UC Irvine staff, they are not very good actors (or smart ones), and you can tell that they were working for the police. There are some middle-aged people, a couple of protest “leaders” and designated lawyerish and “first-aid” folk with megaphones. There were also a couple of young people, pretending to lock box themselves together inside the Gateway Center, three young men who look like 20-something-year-old college “students.” The simulation was thorough, the police and swat teams made several rounds around the building before entering the Gateway Center, even going on the megaphone to deliver an order to disperse. When the police “asked” the fake head protesters “Why are you doing this?” they responded “Oh you know, I don’t want to pay to pee. We want free books. Fees.” There was some more chatter, but I could not hear them very well and it was quite obvious that the whole protest message is a joke. They also said “We want freedom, justice,” “Hell no we won’t go!” yelled “Pigs” at the police, “Come on this is a protest!” “We want free stuff,” “UCI! UCI!” “USA! USA! USA!” and  “We don’t like the guy in the green!” They also threw several water bottles at police in riot gear . . . .

The protesters also said “Join us, join us!” and four middle aged women “chained” themselves to the entrance of the Gateway building, where occupiers were “locking” themselves in. They then proceeded to “break” through the “locks” and ties, with firemen on hand to remove the fake protesters. There were at least ten Ford beigeish cars parked in the back of the library on ring road, along with a SWAT team paddy wagon (Irvine SWAT), and three fire trucks. These SWAT appeared more militarized, with head-to-toe body armor, high black combat boots, shields, long black batons, rubber-bullet rifles, and face shields.


Support UCI 19

3 September 2011

from reclaimuc:

On February 24, 2010, 17 UCI students and community supporters sat in outside Chancellor Drake’s office, issuing demands for workers rights on campus, increased access for underrepresented students, and amnesty for the Irvine 11. They were quickly arrested and evicted from the building by dozens of police without a single administrator offering to hear their demands.

Nine months later, those 17, along with 2 students who were outside Aldrich Hall during the action, received criminal charges by mail. After months of hearings and attempts at reaching a plea, the UCI 19 are headed to trial, beginning September 27. Over 19 months since the initial incident. The 17 are being charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace, and refusal to disperse. The other two are being charged with false imprisonment, blocking a thoroughfare, and being a public nuisance. Everyone potentially faces over a year in jail if convicted.

In the last 40 years nationally, there has never been a sit-in prosecuted to the extent that this one is. The charges faced by the 17 are excessive. The other two defendants are being selectively prosecuted for an incident involving 30 students outside the sit-in, and it is clear they are being singled out because of their past political involvement.

Don’t let UCI and the DA criminalize dissent! Demand that all the charges be dropped!


We’re counting on your support to beat the charges. A strong showing of campus and community support on the first day of trial will send the message to the DA and the court that we’re here to fight.

Trial officially begins at 8:30am on 9/27, though it never starts on time. Please try to come as early as you are able to. It will also not likely conclude on the first day, but will instead be drawn out, so please also pay attention for future dates.

The Big Regent is Watching You!

1 April 2011

from RebelRadio:

Along with the recent discovery of an administrative infiltration of activists’ circles at UC Davis and surveillance at UC Berkeley (read here and here), it has just come to our attention that the administrative violence is rampant and quite widespread.

Information suggesting that UCIPD has been working with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center, a local Joint Terrorism Task Force affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s National Security Network, to monitor student protests and student activists has just become available after John Bruning, a local activist on the UC Irvine campus, retrieved the information requested as per a public records request made earlier in January. He comments, “I don’t know what the relationship is, other than that a member of OCIAC, also a Detective with the Huntington Beach PD SWAT Team, forwarded a YouTube video of the protest I was arrested at in November 2009 to Sgt. Arnold with my name in the subject line.” Due to “public safety exceptions”, 24 pages of the report were redacted.

Because, as UC Davis professor Joshua Clover writes in an op-ed in UC Davis’ California Aggie,

Over the last year, the UC Davis administration has pursued an extensive program to place staffers in and around student-worker protest. They have done so not, as you might expect, to join in the struggle against indecent cuts and backdoor privatization, but to deliver surveillance on participants.

And, because this problem as it is being discovered is endemic to the overall institution, we recommend that all activists who have participated in previous actions throughout the UC in the past three years  make public records requests from their institutions. The Big Regent is watching you!


27 January 2011

From Occupy UCI:

If you have been indicted, subpoenaed, or contacted by the Orange County DA regarding this case, call the National Lawyers Guild Hotline at 415-285-1041 and the Los Angeles NLG Chapter at 323-653-4510.

Have yet to receive independent confirmation, but OC Weekly reports:

Radio station KPCC 89.3 reported today the Orange County district attorney’s office has convened a grand jury to look into the possibility of filing conspiracy charges against a group of Muslim students busted at the UC Irvine campus in 2010 for disrupting the speech of  U.S. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

The information was reported during Larry Mantle’s morning show, Air Talk, which then opened the phones to callers expressing incredulity that a grand jury was convened for what they feel is essentially a free-speech issue. There were also those who theorized that a politically motivated Tony Rackauckas is strategically appeasing conservative Jewish Orange County constituents. Orange County DA’s office spokeswoman Farrah Emami declined to comment, saying it was the policy of that office to not discuss grand-jury proceedings.

What are grand juries? From the Grand Jury Resistance Project:

What is a Grand Jury?

In the federal legal system, the grand jury is used to decide whether someone should be charged (“indicted”) for a serious crime. The grand jury hears evidence presented by the prosecutor: the U.S. Attorney. The grand jury uses subpoenas to gather this evidence. It can subpoena documents, physical evidence, and witnesses to testify. The “special” federal grand jury, created in 1970, can be used to investigate “possible” organized criminal activity rather than a specific crime. The California legal system also has grand juries, but it is optional whether criminal prosecutions are initiated by grand jury indictment, or by a complaint by the District Attorney and preliminary hearing before a judge.

How is a Grand Jury Different Than a Trial Jury?

Unlike the “petit” jury, which is used to determine guilt in a trial, a grand jury consists of 16 to 23 jurors who are not screened for bias. The purpose of the grand jury is not to determine guilt or innocence, but to decide whether there is probable cause to prosecute someone for a felony crime. The grand jury operates in secrecy and the normal rules of evidence do not apply. The prosecutor runs the proceedings and no judge is present. Defense lawyers are not allowed to be present in the grand jury room and cannot present evidence, but may be available outside the room to consult with witnesses. The prosecutor and the grand jury members may not reveal what occurred in the grand jury room and witnesses cannot obtain a transcript of their testimony.

How Has the Grand Jury Been Misused?

Because of their broad subpoena powers and secretive nature, grand juries have been used by the government to gather information on political movements and to disrupt those movements by causing fear and mistrust. The grand jury lends itself to being used for improper political investigation due in part to the prosecutor’s ability to question witnesses without regard for rules that prohibit irrelevant, unreliable or unlawfully obtained evidence. Those called before the grand jury may be compelled to answer any question, even those relating to lawful personal and political activities. That information has been used by the government as a basis to conduct further surveillance and disruption of political dissent. When used against political movements, the grand jury causes fear and mistrust because persons who refuse to answer questions about their First Amendment political activities, friends and associates may be jailed for the life of the grand jury: up to 18 months. If a witness asserts her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, she may be forced to accept immunity or go to jail for contempt. Even a witness who attempts to cooperate can be jailed if minor inconsistencies are found in her testimony. Such a perjury charge may stand even when the grand jury fails to hand down any indictment for what it was ostensibly investigating.

No Compromise has this guide to “Crush Grand Juries”:

Grand juries are a tool of political repression which the government uses to frighten activists, create mistrust, drive people out of the movement, and cause others to inform on friends out of fear. Grand juries are the modern day Inquisitions. But instead of scapegoating innocent people as “witches” and “heretics,” they target innocent activists as “terrorists.” At grand juries, your rights are stripped away and chucked out the window! You have NO right to remain silent, NO right to be represented by an attorney, and NO right to a trial should you be jailed. In fact, you can be jailed for up to 18 months without even being charged for a crime!

Yes, grand juries are unconstitutional. Yes, grand juries are wrong. And yes, grand juries are often used by the FBI’s as part of a COINTELPRO efforts against activists because they steal our rights. That is why we cannot cooperate with them. And that is why we have the following strategy on combatting these true threats to democracy:

1. Organize Early. As soon as you hear a grand jury is convening, start organizing to fight it. The sooner you start working against it, the more options you will have to fight it through legal and political channels.

2. Get Help. Start organizing by contacting other animal groups who have experience and expertise in fighting grand juries. ( See the resource groups below.)

3. Stick Together. Typically, when a grand jury convenes, activists avoid those targeted with subpoenas for fear that associating with them will make them a potential target –YOU MUST NOT DO THIS! Activists must stick together and support each other — not isolate targeted activists as the authorities want us to do! Thankfully, the nationwide coalition of grassroots militant activists who have helped support the LA3, Barry Horne, Tony Wong, and Sue McCrosky, as well as other activists, will not abandon you should you be targeted for government harassment. Be sure to contact the resources group’s below to tap into their support.

4. Set Up a Defense Committee. To organize support, resistance, and educational efforts locally, a defense committee should be formed. They will be responsible for coordinating media, organizing news conferences, support protests, producing educational literature, working with the lawyers of the targeted activists, supporting the activists in other ways, and coordinating jail support should anyone be imprisoned.

5. Expose the Authorities Abuse of the Grand Jury System. Conduct news conferences, send out news releases, organize protests, and distribute literature exposing the government’s harassment of activists, the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities, and the unconstitutional and undemocratic nature of the grand juries. Exposing the authorities abuse of our civil liberties in the media typically causes them to back off. And right now the FBI are most vulnerable to bad press because of FBI whistle-blowers who say the crime lab has falsified evidence to gain convictions, and because their blunders at Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Atlanta City are still fresh in the minds of most Americans.

6. Don’t Cooperate with the Authorities. This means knowing your rights, and asserting them. You do not have to talk to the government agents. Even if arrested, you do not have to talk to them. If arrested all you have to give is your name and address — tell them no more. You do not have to let them search your house or car without a warrant — so don’t. In fact, you don’t even have to answer your door when the police are there unless they have a warrant. By asserting your rights, you again frustrate their attempts to get information on activists to further their COINTELPRO actions and harassment against the movement.

7. Educate Other Activists. Be sure to educate other local activist on what their rights are and how grand juries work. Let them know that, should they be a subpoenaed, there is a support committee of people available to help.

8. Utilize All Legal Strategies. There are plenty of court strategies that can be used to frustrate the authorities’ grand jury witch hunts. Motions to quash the subpoenas, or motions for discovery of electronic surveillance can be used to tie them up in the courts for months and force them to give over information they would prefer to keep secret.

9. Have Patience. Resist the temptation to “get it over with” by testifying at the grand jury or going to jail. It is important to resist for as long as possible. Activists who are quick to go to jail, can be used to scare other activists into cooperating with the authorities. Instead, be sure to exhaust all of the many legal, political, and constitutional solutions. Grand Juries last for 18 months, and the longer you can stall them, the less time activists will have to spend in jail, should they be jailed.

10. Do NOT Testify or Capitulate to Their Demands. Never enter the grand jury chamber. And unless you are going to be issuing some motions, don’t even go to the courthouse. If they want your fingerprints, or mailing lists, don’t give it to them. Resist and fight! The stronger you resist, the better it will turn out for you. According to a publication by the National Lawyers Guild, “For many political activists, the historic and principled way to avoid these dilemmas (informing, perjury) has been the invocation of absolute non-collaboration with grand jury investigations of political movements. While this has resulted in many instances with the witness’ incarceration for contempt, it has also discouraged the subpoenaing of further witnesses, and on some occasions, the withdrawal of all subpoenas.”

The Grand Jury Resistance Project has lots more resources on fighting illegitimate grand juries.

If you have been indicted, subpoenaed, or contacted by the Orange County DA regarding this case, call the National Lawyers Guild Hotline at 415-285-1041 and the Los Angeles NLG Chapter at 323-653-4510.

UC Student Faces Serious Charges Still

28 December 2010

from ThoseWhoUseIt:

Peter Howell, the UC Merced undergrad facing a felony count for the Regents’ meeting, had his arraignment today around 10:45 am.  Brought out in orange scrubs and cuffs, Howell’s lawyer asked that the felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor given that the prosecution’s case is so weak and that there is video evidence demonstrating that Howell never touched the weapon.  The prosecutor attempted to defend the position that he grabbed Kemper’s baton, but the reasoning was incoherent.  Here’s Howell on the scuffle:

“I put my hands on my chest and backpedaled,” Howell said in the interview. “I was trying to get away. (Officer Kemper) shoved through me, and he may have lost control of his baton. You can hear it rattle on the ground in a video. At no point did I strike him on the head, so I believe that statement was false.”

Regardless, the judge refused to engage the debate, pushing it back to the hearing date, now scheduled for February 22 upon the request of the defense.  The judge denied him release on OR but reduced the bail from $30,000 to $15,000.

Hands off Peter Howell!

Update: Howell’s lawyer, John Hamasaki, is looking for anyone who witnessed the alleged incident on November 17 at UCSF-Mission Bay.  Contact him at if you are a witness, or else if you have photos or videos of the alleged incident.

Safety reminder: Please do not offer yourself as a witness if you have uncharged conduct from that day (that may also show up in photos or videos). This is not an assumption that anyone does, just a precaution. Also, please don’t discuss any possible evidence or witness testimony you may have in writing, including comments sections on blogs and over listservs. Due to the recent increase in state/university repression, we should actively consider being very careful with information, in order to care for each other and ourselves.

[Editor: On a related note, 19 students/demonstrators involved in the UC Irvine sit-in in February are facing arraignments tomorrow, Dec. 29th at 8am at the Central Court (700 W Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana, Orange County)*. The charged face several misdemeanors each. More here.]


UCI administration is out for blood

9 December 2010

SANTA ANA, California – UC Irvine students charged today, December 9th, for a civil disobedience that occurred almost 10 months ago.

From OccupyUCI:

We have just learned that 19 students and supporters have been charged by the District Attorney of Orange County for participation in the February 24 sit in.

Each person is being charged on average with 3 misdemeanors, though 1 person each is being charged with 2 and 4 counts.  The charges include: false imprisonment, obstruction of a public place, being a public nuisance, trespassing, disturbing the peace, and refusal to disperse.  Arraignment will be December 29.

It is important to note that these charges were filed DURING FINALS WEEK and the arraignment will be during Winter Break, while many students go home to see their families.  Not only is this the greatest intensification of political repression coming from the UCI administration yet, it is also a deliberate attempt to disrupt the course work and family lives of students involved in dissent.

We will keep you posted for more about these cases.

[Editor’s note: read our initial report on the UCI sit-in here, and an editorial on it here.]

UCI Banner Drops: Strike Oct 7

24 September 2010

from ucrebelradio:

UCI Kangaroo Court turns down MSU appeal

4 September 2010

from OccupyUCI:

UCI upheld the suspension of the Muslim Student Union despite appeals, though the term was reduced from a full year to one quarter.  This came after months of political pressure from special interest groups external to UCI who want to see a major battleground over support for Israel and Palestine pacified (but with Israel coming out on top).

Of course, I’m sure this had nothing to do with the religion/ethnicity of the students involved, UCI’s overt support for Zionism, and a broader campaign to criminalize dissent on the UCI campus.  These “findings” are not at all related to the 28 students at UCI and 200+ state-wide facing conduct charges for minor protest-related infractions if not just vocalization of opposition.  /sarcasm

The Office of Student Affairs, under outgoing Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez, sent out an email to the entire campus, wasting scarce university resources to further demonize the Muslim Student Union and sew Islamophobia in the UCI community.  Gomez, who claims to have once “flown the black flag,” now apparently lives by the mantra: “But now I’m older and wiser, and that’s why I’m turning you in.”  Here’s the email: (more…)

Sanctions for UCI Sit-in; 1 suspended

31 August 2010

Documents received today from a California Public Records Act request on the student conduct process at UC-Irvine has revealed that 13 students have received informal resolutions for the February sit-in outside Chancellor Drake’s office.  The sit-in demands included a recruitment and retention center, gender-neutral bathrooms, reinstatement of laid-off workers, and the termination of some corporate contracts.

According to the obtained documents (available here), all 13 were found to have violated code sections 102.13, 102.14, 102.15, 102.16, and 102.24 of the UCI student code, for “Disruptive behavior in Aldrich Hall outside of Chancellor’s office; Failure to comply with PR directive to disperse”; this is assumed to correspond with the February 24 sit-in.  12 of the students faced sanctions of probation and restitution, while 1 has been SUSPENDED.  It is unknown what the status of their appeals is.

Here are the alleged code violations:

102.13 Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities.

102.14 Disorderly or lewd conduct.

102.15 Participation in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly.

102.16 Failure to identify oneself to, or comply with the directions of, a University official or other public official acting in the performance of his or her duties while on University property or at official University functions; or resisting or obstructing such University or other public officials in the performance of or the attempt to perform their duties.

102.24 Violation of local, state, or federal laws otherwise not covered under these standards of conduct.

This comes after the decision to suspend the Muslim Student Union for one year and three of the five UCI students charged for participating in the Cal State Fullerton Humanities action received sanctions of one year of disciplinary probation and a research/confession paper.  More UCI students are awaiting meetings with Student Conduct and involuntary resolutions; to the best of our knowledge, at least 28 UCI students are facing student conduct charges.

All student conduct actions are intended to suppress student dissent, and other documents suggest that student conduct officers monitor everything from campus protests to reservations made by activist groups.  But the suspension of an activist for a peaceful sit-in is an outrage matched only by the sanctions that have been, and likely will soon be, taken against MSU for their protest of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

In an initial round of research, we were unable to find a single sit-in–across the country, over the past 40 years–that was punished with suspension.  This includes countless sit-ins over labor struggles and against sweatshops and wars, many of which have been violently evicted by police and nearly all have resulted in arrest.  In fact, we only found record of one sit-in being prosecuted in criminal court: after UNC students sat in for two weeks protesting campus apparel-sourcing policies, 5 were found guilty of minor charges, and the judge stayed each of their sentences.  Even recent sit-ins at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside protesting the univerities’ profiting from sweatshop labor resulted in no criminal charges nor student conduct charges.

We can say with little doubt that this level of persecution violates all historical precedent for responding to student protests, and sets a terrible precedent for future actions against student leaders.  What used to be considered a fundamental right–and a rite of passage–for student activists has now been placed among the gravest of sins by the UCI administration.  Student Conduct Director Edgar Dormitorio has actively collaborated with UCIPD to drum up charges against student activists, with the full complicity of Dean of Students Rameen Talesh, Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez, and Chancellor Michael Drake, while all of them told us repeatedly that they valued protest and sympathized with our grievances.

We will post additional information about how to support these students as we find out more; and ask that you watch out for future updates on this case and the charges against other students.

– UciLeaks

First Student Conduct letter issued at UC Irvine

19 April 2010

IRVINE, California – The first Student Conduct letter for budget-related actions was delivered by email today, to Graduate student John Bruning, for alleged violations occurring on November 24, 2009, at UCI’s Aldrich Hall, and March 3, 2010, at Cal State Fullerton.  Bruning was arrested on the first occasion after allegedly–and according to the arresting officers–pounding on a glass door, after police had closed the administration building (including Financial Aid and the Registrar) to the public during a rally against police brutality at UCLA.  The second date refers to the Humanities Building “reclamation” at CSU Fullerton, where participants were detained, issued stay-away orders, and told they were being released without charges, but just last week were informed they were being charged with trespassing.

The letter follows threats of disciplinary actions–including expulsion–against the Irvine 11, and Student Conduct actions against over 100 students at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.  This may be the first case of a California university disciplining a student activist for participating in actions off-campus.

The letter cites allegations “that you have violated the following University policies specified in the University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students” on campus, and “in accordance with our Off-Campus Behavior Policy (101.00a)”, listed in detail below.

Update (4/20): Four additional UCI students have received disciplinary letters, solely for their involvement in the Fullerton action, on the grounds of Sections 102.04, 102.06, and 102.24.  This is going even beyond disciplinary threats against the 3 UC Riverside arrested at the Irvine 11 action, by holding students subject to academic disciplinary action for participation in protests at other, and non-UC, campuses.


Irvine Calls for May 4

10 March 2010

IRVINE, California – from occupyUCI

Kent State is not our Fate! A proposal for coordinated action May 4

At some point the rebels fighting behind the Orange Curtain exploded their subjectivities and took on an important position in the Crisis. We saw our reflection in the dumpsters that one day, and since then nothing has been the same. Barely 30 hours after the Fullerton Humanities occupation was raided by police, somehow breaking past double-stacked dumpsters chained to doors, and 8 days after 17 students were arrested sitting in outside Chancellor Michael Drake’s office while students outside barricaded the building; 500+ Irvine students staged perhaps the first street action in the history of the City of Irvine itself, and one of the first in Orange County as a whole. Our police had no idea how to respond, to a situation which happens weekly and twice as big most other places.

Sure, we may not be taking over the 880 (yet) or fighting riot police trying to get on the 80 (yet), but we did get close to the 73, and we feel pretty damn proud of ourselves. After all, Tiger Woods lives a few blocks away from campus, and neighboring Newport Beach is the most affluent city in the country. AND, the entire city of Irvine is actually owned by a company, and was designed to be riot-proof. We can’t even jaywalk here without being stopped by the cops, and on M4 we took over intersections.

In our experience in turning out nearly 1,000 students for militant action at a campus designed to socially atomize the student body and prevent mobilization, what has enabled the highest turnouts of uninvolved students is days of action. Students knew about S24 and M4 without necessarily even receiving a flier or being invited on Facebook. These actions should not/cannot replace actions in between; this assumption was the root of the failure of the October 24 conference. But they do supplement escalation, it’s an excuse to feel our strength collectively, at one time.

So, Irvine is calling for M4: the sequel.

May 4 is the 40th anniversary of the massacre of students at Kent State University. The history of Kent State and the rest of the anti-Vietnam War movement is well-known (although often times incorrectly well-known). Unlike most other countries, we have no student days. We have no anniversaries to rally around, no days reserved for mourning and anger. Let’s make May 4 a day to remember, not just because of the Kent State massacre or even the Haymarket riots which happened on that day, but for the events that we will set in motion this day. Hold funeral processions and silent marches this day; tell everyone to dress in black. Let’s mourn not for ourselves but for the death of the university!

March 4

4 March 2010

News & Updates from March 4

In California hundreds of rallies took place (more than listed below). Other good sources: SocialistWorker, Indybay.

(Feel free to comment with corrections. Last update: 10:10am mar.7.10)

University of California

UC Santa Cruz

5:00am: Students out blocking streets at the intersection of High & Western, Hagar and Coolidge, and the western entrance of campus effective shutting it down. Only people on foot can enter campus.

6:30am - High and Western

7:00am: Some people have been hit by cars breaking the picket line, breaking someone’s leg and hitting another 3 or so people.

Tan volvo plowing through strikers despite it was being let through slowly. The car accelerated as strikers were trying to control traffic flow traveling down High street.

8:00am: Campus administrators activated the CruzAlert messaging system with the following message “Please avoid both campus entrances due to safety concerns. Check web or 459-INFO at noon for update.” (source)

9:40am: Currently a rally is being held at the main entrance (i.e. the east entrance) with 250 participants. For a while 2 helicopters were flying above. The students blocking the intersection of High and Western have left after most of the workers were blocked from entering campus (it would appear some dining hall workers were able to get on campus, but many others were unable to get on campus). Many of the workers are now here supporting the students.

Earlier this morning, multiple students were injured by two separate incidents where cars rushed the strike line (one at the intersection of Hagar and Coolidge, and the second at the intersection of High and Western). The car at Hagar and Coolidge was tailgating a police car being let through, students then approached the vehicle to stand in front of it and tell them about the strike. The car hit the gas and drove into the mass, injuring a student’s leg, fortunately not broken. In the incident at High and Western, a tan volvo began accelerating into the crowd blocking the street, despite the fact that cars driving down High (away from campus) were being slowly let through. The volvo hit around 5 students, one student flipped over the hood of the car and over the top, breaking the rear window as the student fell off the back. As the volvo sped away, students kicked the car, denting it. Several cars and motorcycles have tried to slowly push through the crowd through out the day, but all failed. Rumors of other car incidents exist, but the others have yet to be confirmed.

Also, earlier this morning a banner was hung over highway 1, stating “March 4 Defend Education!”

11:40am: While most of the protesters are at the main entrance and the west entrance, some of the protesters are at Hagar and Coolidge to watch out for supervisors forcing workers to trek up the long and steep hill to get to work. Supervisors began leading the workers up the hill past a handful of students in the intersection before the students could organize themselves. As more students came to support the other students in the intersection, they realized the workers and supervisors were already around 50 feet away up the hill to campus. So around 15 students ran up the hill to form a line to blockade the workers. The police arrived and dispersed the line, telling the students that they had made a “physical threat” on the workers. As the workers passed by, they shouted that there was no physical threat. So as the police returned to their vehicle, the students yet again ran up the hill the block the workers from getting further into campus. The police immediately turned around and approached the students to disperse them. However by now, the workers turned around and spoke to their supervisors claiming they couldn’t get through, the supervisors conceded and the workers were allowed to go home

1:00pm: Around 500 have rallied at the base of campus. Video below was taken around 12:45pm, the rally as of 1:15pm is still going.

1:55pm: Students are redistributing themselves around campus for maximum effectiveness. Around 60 people are at Hagar and Coolidge warning people that they may not be able to re-enter campus if they leave. They are also watching out for supervisors forcing workers to get onto campus still.

2:50pm: Strikers are now relaxing on the grass at the main entrance listening to a live band. The strike is mostly split up into three locations, Lower Campus (Hagar and Coolidge), Main Entrance (i.e. East Entrance), and the West Entrance.

3:20pm: Earlier story about a prius running into students and driving onto sidewalk at High and Western has been confirmed. At least one student broke some fingers when the car recklessly plowed through the crowd.

5:30pm: A general assembly starts

6:30pm: The general assembly decides to take the protest downtown.

7:11pm: 300 Students walk through Pacific Ave.

7:30pm: The students have rallied at the clock tower.

9:10pm: Students dissipate.

UC Berkeley

1:20pm: Around 1000 people walking down telegraph (currently crossed at 66 ave.) for a rally with students from community colleges, CSU’s, and elementary school folks at city hall in Oakland.

3:10pm: The march has reached Frank Ogawa plaza.

After the rally, protesters marched to highway I-880. Around 150 protesters were arrested.

7:00am: Most all of the ~40 arrested taken to North County Jail in Oakland out, charged with 2 misdemeanors and an infraction (obstructing traffic, unlawful assembly, failure to obey signs).

8:00am: Approximately 80 of the arrested at Santa Rita jail should start being released around 11am. They need rides!

Frank Ogawa Plaza

Ogawa Plaza around 3:30pm

More photos on indybay here.

UC Davis

12:50pm: Students at UC Davis have shut down the bus terminal and the main street in Davis.

1:12pm: Students march down Russell st. and are now shutting down the freeway.

3:10pm: One student has been arrested, dozens of others have been shot by rubber bullets. They are currently on the street near the offramp and have been given a deal from the police stating that they will release the student arrested if they leave the offramp now.

3:30pm: Police using pepper spray pellets!

4:00pm: Students walking back to campus.

4:30: Students march through buildings pulling fire alarms, and from there they returned to Russell and La Rue where they shut down the intersection for several hours.


1:40pm: Soft occupation at Murphy Hall

2:00pm: correction, sit-in

6:20pm: Outside supporters have been lead to believe that students sitting inside will be arrested.

6:40pm: Sit-in protesters all released.

UC Irvine

1:50pm: Around 400 students are walking around campus urging others to join them in striking.  According to OC Weekly, numbers increased to 800.  One of the largest protests in recent campus history.

2:00pm: Students take to the streets and head towards freeway 73.  Students clear one police line and continue down University Avenue.

2:34pm: Students moving back to campus after being stopped by police again.  Police: “Immediately return to campus!”

2:50pm: Students gathering at Langson Library.

2:55pm: UC Irvine temporarily occupied with barricades at Langson Library.  Students move to Gateway Study Center and lock down several doors before clearing out.

3:30pm: Students were unable to hold down the occupations, so they are now out and marching again.

3:45pm: Aldrich Hall, the admin building, was locked down with 15-20 police inside, so students held an impromptu general assembly in front of Aldrich.

Students blocking traffic on Campus Ave. (from local news)

UC San Diego

4:00pm: According to one source, 2000-3000 people, another source 1500-2000, (mostly students, with some teachers and parents) marched from Balboa park to the Governor’s Office downtown.

March 4 Banner Drop

UC Riverside

3:21pm: According to Daily Cal, somewhere near a 1000 students marching downtown.

UC Santa Barbara

According to one commenter:

12:00 noon rally at UCSB Arbor plaza draws 1000+ students, workers, teachers, biggest rally in UCSB’s recent history

1:30 PM – Rally heads downtown, most people use free bus service while about 50 take part in a Critical Mass ride downtown

3:40 PM – UCSB students, students and teachers from other schools gather at De La Guerra Plaza downtown, ~500 people take State St. for an unpermitted march down State.

4:00 PM – March has turned around and marches back up State, grows to ~1000 as it passes De La Guerra Plaza again.  State St. is totally clogged with a massive march.

4:30 PM – Marchers arrive at the courthouse for a rally, with speakers including students, faculty and local politicians.  Crowd disperses following the rally.

(special thanks to coyote)

UCSB ~4pm

California State University

San Francisco State University

They held a rally that ended at 2pm with 500 people. The rally later turned into a dance party. Another party is going to be held Thursday night at 10pm at Malcolm X plaza.

San Francisco (General)

According to Socialist Worker, [20,000+] people are protesting at the civic center.

CSU Northridge

DailyCal says that a Rally with thousands come out for a “funeral service”. While Socialist Worker is stating that nearly 6000 come out for a protest in Northridge resulting in at least one injury and several arrests. Protesters are apparently waiting outside the jail.

According to one commenter:

A few of us started organizing for the day around 10AM; making posters, mostly.

Around 11:30AM, we ran screaming for a walk-out with noisemakers/pots/bullhorns throughout various campus buildings.  A lot of people joined us and we marched to a nearby busy intersection (Nordhoff/Reseda).  There was an invasion through the library and some more buildings with a long line of people calling for a walk-out.

We met back at the busy intersection and invaded the center…police came soon and cleared up the streets.  A few people refused to move.  A couple local news stations came to report, and the occupation of the middle of the street continued.

Around 2:30PM, we went back to campus and gathered a huge crowd on the Oviatt Library quad.

At 3:45PM, we began the march with CSU Channel Islands students/faculty.  We all took to the streets and marched around campus.

By 6:30PM, enough of us had begun an occupation of yet another intersection (Reseda/Prairie).  This was when police threatened to arrest due to “unlawful assembly in the streets” and “trespassing.”  A little while later, they began to threaten tear gas.  Two people got arrested so far.

By 7:30PM, five people had been arrested and one of our professors, 74-yr old Dr. Olsen, was knocked down and her arm stepped on by the police.  She’s currently at the hospital.

By 8:00PM, we invaded the space outside the library and talked to the media, reorganized, and planned for a press conference March 5th (today).  Word started to go around that the students who got arrested were getting booked/released.

Summary ?  Huge misrepresentation by the media. Police not the nicest of nice. Lots of people from the surrounding community made this CSUN protest big. Anger at our president for misrepresenting what happened last night through her statement. Good energy going around those who were part of the event; plans of having CSUN fund buses for the March 22nd rally at Sacramento.

(special thanks to Billimarie)

CSU Los Angeles

According to the blog EastsideLA, a March 4 rally started at CSULA which later traveled through parts of Los Angeles, through areas like Little Tokyo. Sometimes the marchers were on streets, other times they were corralled by police to stick to the sidewalks. EastsideLA remarked how controlled the march felt, from both police and some organizers. They also commented how elements of the march were joyous and fun as such a protest should be. Crowd estimates appeared to be a little over a thousand.

special thanks to Julio at

special thanks to Julio at

Los Angeles (general): Socialist Worker says 4000 rally in downtown.

CSU Fullerton

At noon several fire alarms were pulled and hundreds of people poured in to Humanities Plaza for a rally and march through the campus.

CSU Monterey Bay

from indybay:

Around noon, students, staff and faculty participated in a walkout and marched from either end of campus to a rally in front of the Student Center. A few hundred people attended the rally. Some student bands played throughout the day while students danced to the music. Student, staff, and faculty members spoke about cuts to public education and related issues, from spending money on wars and prisons to the systemic injustice that prevents so many people from attaining higher education.

In the evening, some of the protesters from campus went to a community rally at Colton Hall (the sight of the first public school in California) in downtown Monterey. They joined people from local community colleges, K-12 schools, and members of various labor unions.

video here at indybay

CSU Fresno

4:32pm: According to DailyCal, an occupation of administration’s offices with 30-40 people.

5:17pm: They say 32 occupiers still holding it down.

10:30pm: Occupation ends. Occupiers leave without being arrested. see indybay.

Watch a video of an interview inside the Joyal Administration occupation.

California Community College

Cañada College (Redwood City, CA)

200 walk-out

Skyline College (San Bruno, CA)

500 march through campus and almost every building, then hold a rally. Carloads of Skyline College stakeholders join those at SF civic center.

City College of San Francisco

An original rap at CCSF.


We got all these corporations erasing education
standarized testing placement exam evaporation
this is no exaggeration; let’s get rid of this abberation!
Student Occupation- it’s now ours for the taking
what should have been all along, this is democracy in the making
not a fire evacuation or a sly accusation
THIS IS NOT A DRILL, now you know were not faking
aint gonna hide under desks of leave the classrooms vacant
just teach-ins reclaiming the history you were debasing
free food with Food Not Bombs special catering baking
Love and knowledge; it’s a collage at City College
all the cultures reconnecting and solving the problems from the bottom

[i]Put your hands in the air if you want books not war
Democracy (what?),Tthat’s what the people is for!
Put your hands in the air if you want books not war
Democracy (what?), That’s what the people is for![/i]

Grass Roots, we’ve all got em- in the soles of our feet
and the souls that is a part of every energy being
every day they working hard to try to tear up your dreams
racism on the radios and consumerist bling
but now it’s time to shine and let freedom sing
The future is now; we’re the ones here to claim
The Rosenberg Library? I say it’s time to rename it-
repaint it like all the murals that made the Mission famous
aint gonna let a business suit calm us down or try to tame us
we’re WILD and free; we love it can you blame us?
Sorry Swarzinagger but we broke out of the cages
with solidarity K through 12 and all ages

[i]Put your hands in the air if you want books not war
Democracy (what?),Tthat’s what the people is for!
Put your hands in the air if you want books not war
Democracy (what?), That’s what the people is for![/i]

Textbooks is now free; take copyrights off of pages
Don’t need leaders or sages to mold our consent
when our rights is threatened it’s our time to dissent
throw up your middle finger to this one-party government
I didn’t vote for this war; I say you bring back our men
That’s my word and it’s as sure as the ink in this pen
that causes hysterics with these lyrics to throw me back in the pen
but I’ll do it again; a no compromise kinda guy
we comprised a bee storm after you swapping us like flies
like a video game set to unlimited lives
the people never give up and they infinite as the skies
We took off your disguise and blocked your deflectors
The board of directors is just a horde of rejectors
aint gonna listen to us until we unite as protectors
Call out to all sectors; we’re here and we’re permanent
The powers that be; you better be learning from it
We’re sick of your greed and sick of your rules
you wanna gut education well…
you about to get schooled!

Cabrillo College

check out more photos and information from Cabrillo Solidarity


California K-12

Pajaro Valley/Watsonville

Around 200 protest, more from indybay.

Castro Valley

400 rally in busiest intersection

Out of State

SUNY – State University of New York

3:00pm: SUNY purchase occupied (see website)

Solidarity to all students, workers and faculty!

We ‘ve taken over the Student Services Building. We started on the bottom level, turning a meager rally into a protest-party on the inside.Students are chanting, singing, dancing. The energy moved upstairs to the second floor where a folk group is performing right now. Downstairs another band is about to play. We are holding space and reclaiming it as ours. We will not leave!

The local media showed up for the rally outside but left before we went inward. Channel 12 and other local media sources watched as the president of our school spoke. Students were the real stars, the expression of solidarity was fantastic. Food not bombs came out to feed everyone that was hungry, we screened the occupation of wheeler hall so passerbys could connect with the struggles in the west. Students are making noise!!!!, and celebrated our ability to come together. It’s more than just tuition hikes and budget cuts,

WE are not leaving! This IS just the beginning!

Slideshow & Audio from SUNY Purchase occupation.

CUNY Hunter

CUNY – Brooklyn College

Hundreds participated in a successful teach

New York (general): Check out takethecity and reoccupied for updates.

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

a big protest (~250), major police repression. 18 students arrested for trying to peacefully visit their chancellor!

Info and videos here:

University of Oklahoma

Warren Wilson College

University of Illinois, Chicago

250 protest, joined by SEIU Local 73

University of Massachusetts