University Of California Faculty Associations Condemn Police Actions Against Protesters

LONG BEACH (CBS SF) — The Council of University of California Faculty Associations condemned police actions against protesters at several campuses this week, according to a statement released Saturday.

The council, an umbrella organization for the Faculty Associations at each university campus, said that excessive force has been used against non-violent protesters at the University of California at Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, California State University at Long Beach and UC Davis.

“Student, faculty and staff protesters have been pepper-sprayed directly in the eyes and mouth, beaten and shoved by batons, dragged by the arms while handcuffed, and submitted to other forms of excessive force,” the statement read.

“Protesters have been hospitalized because of injuries inflicted during these incidents. The violence was unprovoked, disproportional and excessive,” it read.

The statement comes following protests in UC Davis Friday, where demonstrators tried to establish an Occupy encampment on the campus’s quad that day.

Police used pepper spray on sitting demonstrators, which was videotaped and shared widely on sites like YouTube, provoking outrage from throughout the campus.

In Berkeley Nov. 9, police used batons to break up a circle of protesters surrounding another intended Occupy encampment in Sproul Plaza.

Video of police repeatedly jabbing protesters in the chest and stomach with batons was also widely shared on the Internet, provoking outrage.

Before the demonstration, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued a letter to protesters reminding them that camping on campus property was not allowed.

Birgeneau defended the police action in a subsequent letter to students and faculty, but said the incident would be investigated.

“It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience,” Birgeneau said in his letter.

The Faculty Associations council demanded that university chancellors stop using police violence to squelch protests.

“We hold them personally responsible for the violence and believe it can only result in an escalation of outrage that holds the potential for even more violence,” the council’s statement said.

The council also denounced the recent fee hikes that sparked the university protests.

“Student debt has reached unprecedented levels as bank profits swell. We decry the growing privatization and tuition increases that have been the frequent-and-only responses of the UC Board of Regents,” it said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Milan Moravec

    Police report to Campus chancellor: Campus chancellor is to be condemed. Every qualified California student should get a place in University of California(UC) system. That’s a desirable goal for a public university. However, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau displaces Californians qualified for education at Cal. with $50,600 tuition Foreigners.
    Paying more is not a better education. UC tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increase. The UC Board Of Regents jeopardizes Californians attending higher education by making UC the most expensive public university.
    Self-serving tuition increases are used by UC President Mark Yudof to increase the pay of 80,000 eligible faculty & others. Payoffs like these point to higher operating costs and still higher tuition for Californians. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income! UC is hijacking our kids’ futures: student debt.
    I agree that faculty in higher education and senior management, like Yudof and Birgeneau, should consider the students’ welfare & put it high on their values.
    Deeds unfortunately do not bear out the students’ welfare values of UC Berkeley Birgeneau’s senior management and the UC Board of Regents.
    Opinions to UC Board of Regents, email

  • Joe

    Has any UC students look into these beyond torture human experiments allegedly conducted covertly at the present?

    Please look in to this serious matter!!

  • lh

    I am very sympathetic to what you are saying generally, but do want to provide some additional understanding. Californians are NOT displaced by foreigners. The UC system takes as many students as are funded by the State of California via the state budget. The UCs (and other public institutions) then increase the usual quota for out-of-state (including foreign students) because they pay full tuition and can be taught without state support. This allows faculty and staff to keep their jobs. If the UCs instead chose to shrink their studentbody to the size allowed by state support there would be significant layoffs.

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