Dear Chancellor Birgeneau and Chief of UC Police:
We are writing to you to express how troubled we are about the heavy-handed police response to student and worker protests over decisions being made by UC Regents and administration.
In November, many of us were excluded from the UC Regents meeting. At least one of our members was arrested for non-violently resisting police at the protest, though charges against him were dropped later that day. Some of us saw UC Police Officer Kemper pull his gun on peacefully protesting students and workers at that meeting at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus. Others of us have seen the news video of the event, showing that Officer Kemper’s baton fell from his belt, after which he pulled his gun out. We ask that this officer be dismissed from the UC force.
We also condemn the police intimidation that occurred on the Berkeley campus in the days following the meeting, examples of which included police patrolling classroom buildings where student organizers were meeting, following students posting flyers about organizing meetings and confiscating their flyers, and coming to the homes of students who had been at the Regents Meeting protest without cause.
We ask that you condemn these behaviors and drop any charges against the students that are still pending.
Fostering the free expression of ideas in a university setting and protecting the right of dissent are not to be treated lightly. The use of oppressive measures by UC Regents, UCOP and UCB administrators that we have seen over the last two years greatly disturbs us and we urge you to do all in your power to end these practices.
Joint Council of UAW 2865