Archive for the ‘UC San Francisco’ Category

Support UCLA Students!

11 April 2012

On March 29, three UCLA students were arrested at the UC Board of Regents’ meeting at UC San Francisco, as police were sent in to remove students from the meeting and they tried to comply with police orders.  Before the students were violently arrested,  UCLA Lt. O’Connell was seen pointing out certain UCLA student activists to other police.  The first student was arrested after he asked police who the commanding officer was, and why students needed to leave the building when the dispersal order was only to leave the room where the meeting was held.  Two graduate students were arrested as the police wrestled the first student to the ground.  It seems clear that the three were singled out given their prior arrests at UCLA.  Two were booked on serious charges and a total of $72,000 bail, and it cost students almost $6000 to post bond to get them out of jail.  The third was released on her own recognizance.  While the San Francisco District Attorney has decided not to file charges against these three, the bond amount was not recoverable.

This year, UCLA has become a flashpoint of student protests against increasing tuition, budget cuts, and administrative mismanagement of public higher education.  In November of last year, 11 students were arrested blocking the Westwood-Wilshire intersection to draw attention to UC’s business relationship with Bank of America and Monica Lozano’s conflict of interest as a member of both the Board of Regents and the Board of BoA.  Later that month, under the direction of Lt. O’Connell, 14 students were arrested in a pre-dawn raid of the Occupy UCLA encampment by around 70 riot police as administrators watched.  Despite a letter signed by dozens of faculty, the LA City Attorney still pursued charges against the students, eventually settling with the protesters to take a class on the First Amendment in exchange for a diversion of the charges.

Since the arrests in November, UCLA students have seen a rapid and troubling increase in repression from police, including arrests and violence.  Lt. O’Connell also oversaw the police response to student protesters at the Regents’ meeting at UC Riverside in January, in which a lecturer was violently arrested and police opened fire on students with less-than-lethal ammunition.  Even since the most recent Regents’ meeting, UCLA police have been following student activists on campus.  While students still aren’t deterred and will keep fighting, we anticipate more arrests and more violence against students.

We are therefore asking for your support in covering our costs to free the two students, and building a bail and legal defense fund for future arrests.  If you are able to donate, please go to: https://www.wepay.com/donations/ucla-protester-bail-fund

Please help us, so we can keep fighting!

In solidarity,
The Ad-hoc Legal Support Committee of Occupy UCLA

UCM Student’s Charges Dropped

23 August 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Last week, UC Merced student Peter Howell had his charges dropped by the SF District Attorney’s office. Howell was charged with four rather serious and ludicrous charges for events leading to a police officer rashly pulling a gun out on protesting students during a UC Regent’s meeting last November. Read more about what was at the time a developing case here.

In Need of Witnesses

12 July 2011

Last Fall, on November 17th, 2010, the UC Regents voted to increase student fees; students and workers turned out to demonstrate against the Regents’ harmful decisions. On this day several arrests were made of student demonstrators including notably Peter Howell and Eric Wilson. Howell was arrested after one police officer lost control of his baton and drew his pistol on a crowd of protesting students, while Wilson was arrested after an incident in a stairwell. Both Howell and Wilson have been met with serious charges (see below), and have had their lives considerably disturbed by these series of events. They go to court in less than two weeks and they are both in desperate need of witnesses of their respective incidents to testify at the trials. Their legal counsel expect the trial to last approximately a week, and have confirmed that it will take place in San Francisco. Please leave a comment on this blog and leave your contact information if you witnessed these incidents. Your contact information will be forwarded to Howell and Wilson’s legal counsel, and will otherwise remain confidential*. If you know people that attended the November 17th, 2010 Regents’ Meeting protest, please forward them this link and spread the word!

Read more:

Peter Howell is charged with:

1) Penal Code section 148(b): removal of baton from Officer Kemper

2) Penal Code section 243(b): battery on a police officer (Kemper)

3) Penal Code section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) Penal Code section 406: Rout: attempted riot

Eric Wilson is charged with:

1) PC section 243(c)(2): battery with injury on an officer (Officer Bolano)

2) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Bolano and Sgt. Acuna)

3) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) PC section 406: Rout: attempted riot.

*Comments must be approved by a moderator before it appears public. So, the comments will remain unpublished.

UC Police Ramp Up Repression

19 December 2010

from reclaimUC:

This just came to us on the email, regarding the UC Merced student who learned the other day that he was facing four misdemeanor charges from the protest at the UC Regents’ meeting in November [Update: the above link discusses a different student facing battery charges from the same protest; the student in the email cited below is facing charges for allegedly attacking UC Irvine cop Jared Kemper. Sorry for the confusion!]

Tuesday morning Peter learned he was being charged with four misdemeanors arising out of the demonstration at the Regents meeting. Peter only learned that he was being charged after his attorney called the District Attorney’s office to check on the status of his case. Peter was informed that there was a warrant for his arrest issued at the behest of the district attorney’s office. Peter immediately arranged to appear in court in San Francisco at the earliest possible date.

Thinking everything was squared away, Peter spent the night at a friend’s house on Tuesday. Instead three cars full of police officers showed up at his house pounding on the door. His housemate tried to turn them away, but they asked for his ID which they ran to see if it was valid. The police were also looking in the backyard and the windows to see if they could concoct a reason to go inside. Luckily, his housemates knew their rights and told the police to leave, which they finally did after insinuating that the house was lying to them about knowledge of Peter and his whereabouts.

When he got to campus on Wednesday, he went to his professor to tell them what was going on. The professor offered to give him an incomplete, which is helpful but that means he’ll have to re-study for his final over winter break. Peter found out later that police had been at the campus coffee shop looking around at everyone to see if he was there. Police also stationed themselves outside of the classroom where his final exam was to take place, and even went inside and lurked in the projector room during the entire test.

Peter, through his attorney, had himself placed on the court’s calendar immediately after he learned that the district attorney’s office was filing charges against him. Nonetheless, police have continued to hunt for the UC Merced student relentlessly. He now has two incompletes and must make the work up after break. Peter is rightfully outraged at the police’s behavior and is astounded that something like this could happen in a country that says it values free speech and democracy. Also, he is disheartened that a university, his university, would use its police force to unjustifiably intimidate students, going far out of the way to make them feel hunted and watched.

We have learned that the Merced manhunt was orchestrated by the UCSF police, who traveled two hours out of their way in order to attempt to arrest and humiliate Peter in front of his friends, professors and classmates.

This situation is unique in a few ways:

  1. University police conducted a 24-hour manhunt (With UC student funds) for a student who is charged with a few misdemeanors.
  2. These police were from SF and went all the way to Merced to do this.
  3. Police created a situation of intense surveillance of the Merced campus, including a coffee shop that students use and call their own space.
  4. Serious attempts were made to enter his house, including searching for a Plain-View Doctrine reason and questioning the integrity of his housemates.
  5. He does not have a violent record of any kind and is not a flight risk. He has never given the police any reason to believe he would not show up for his court date on Monday.

We should consider some possible reasons that the UC has suddenly decided that its police force is best used to harass students at their homes and during final exams. Is it because they need to justify the unjustifiable act of Officer Jared Kemper of UC Irvine, pulling his gun on a crowd of unarmed protesters? Or have the UC regents and administration finally realized that the public education movement isn’t a phase, and that we’re not going to stop?

Peter deserves commendation for his cool head in this stressful situation and our support on Monday at his courtdate. Please show up, 9am in Department 13 at 850 Bryant Street in San Francisco to support this student who has been the target of oppressive police tactics.

[Update Sunday 12/19, 2:08pm] Just got word of some updates in the case. Most important is that Peter’s arraignment will not be taking place tomorrow (Monday) morning, as previously noted. We’ll post updates as we get them:

  • He has been informed that he will be charged with a felony count of 148(b) for the removal of an officer’s baton;
  • The total charges are a felony and three misdemeanors;
  • He’s arranging to turn himself in;
  • He won’t be in court tomorrow and his lawyer is working on putting him on calendar soon (hopefully Tuesday).

Protests against new fee hikes being met with violence

17 November 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, California – As of 8:45am (Wednesday), 200 students are blocking entrances to the William J. Rutter building at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, where the Regents are scheduled to meet.  On the agenda today and tomorrow are another 8% fee increase and a move to change “fees” back to “tuition,” which was formally prohibited under the California Master Plan.

Cops have reportedly donned riot gear and have begun to arbitrarily charge and assault the student pickets.  Already, 2 UC Berkeley students have been arrested for unknown charges.

This also follows last night’sShare photos on twitter with Twitpic news of an agreement between the UC and UAW Local 2865, the union representing Teaching Assistants, Graduate Student Employees, and Academic Student Employees.  Following 5 months of bad faith and illegal bargaining practices from the UC, unfair labor practices, stalling, walking away from the table, lying, and refusal to concede anything, the UAW bargaining team has accepted UC’s original proposal on wages, employment notification, and summer childcare in exchange for a minor concession on childcare reimbursement.  If the contract is ratified by the membership, TAs will receive subinflation wage increases of 2% a year locked in for the next 3 years.

UPDATES:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic8:55am: There was a confrontation between students and police in the parking garage.  Many of the Regents have been able to enter, smiling as they watch cops hit students.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

9:15am: Reports that students and workers have pushed through the police barricades and are storming the building.  Several students are badly hurt from police attacks and some have been maced.  More arrests, 5 total: 3 Berkeley, 1 Santa Cruz, 1 Davis.

9:20am: Confirmed: students are inside the building!

9:30am: Police are indiscriminately pepper spraying students.  Police have put masks on.

9:45am: Daily Cal reports that Berkeley student government Vice President Ricardo Gomez was among those pepper sprayed by police.

10:00am: Cop has reportedly just drawn his gun or taser on students!  Students chanting “Take his gun!”  More arrests have been reported, numbers and reasons unknown.  Police putting up more barricades.  Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and Riverside Chancellor White are currently speaking to the Regents in favor of fee hikes.

10:15am: Student numbers now over 300.  Police becoming increasingly aggressive violent.  Reports of a large number of arrests and even more injured, but numbers still unknown.  The Regents are currently discussing increasing out of state enrollment.

10:30am: Confirmation that 8 students have been arrested, including Berkeley student government VP Ricardo Gomez (previously reported as peppersprayed). Twitter post: “Officer KEMPER pulled a gun on student protesters he holstered in for a minute and pulled it again aiming at students.”

11:00am: Arrested protesters being cited and released at 15th and Fulton in the city.

12:00pm: UC spokesperson has said 16 were arrested.