Arnold Calls UC Attack "Terrorism"

Monday, Dec 14, 2009  |  Updated 12:54 PM PDT
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Arnold Calls UC Attack "Terrorism"

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Arnold Schwarzenegger should have known better than to crash a party full of catty San Francisco Democrats.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger described Friday's attack on the  home of the University of California at Berkeley's chancellor as a "type of  terrorism" that will not be tolerated.   

Between 40 and 70 protesters angry about budget cuts and fee hikes vandalized  Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home on campus at about 11 p.m. Friday night,  according to the university.   

Birgeneau and his wife said they feared for their lives during the attack.

The group stormed Birgeneau's  home on the north side of the campus and smashed planters, windows and lights  while shouting, "No justice, no peace," according to the school's Web site.  They also reportedly threw flammable objects into the home and at arriving police vehicles.    

Eight people were arrested for rioting, threatening an education  official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, felony  vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, according to  UC Berkeley. At least two of the eight arrested are Berkeley students.

 "California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any  leaders, including educators," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released  Saturday.    

 He added that the incident was a criminal act, and participants  will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.    

"Debate is the foundation of democracy, and I encourage protestors  to find peaceful and productive ways to express their opinions," he said.    

University of California President Mark Yudof also offered his  support to Birgeneau and his family on Saturday.   

 "The attack on Chancellor (Robert) Birgeneau's residence late last  night was appalling," Yudof said in a prepared statement. "The behavior as  described went far beyond the boundaries of public dissent, and such  lawlessness cannot be tolerated."    

 Birgeneau urged community members to find more productive ways of  expressing their feelings.   

"These are criminals, not activists," Birgeneau said in a  statement posted on the university's Web site. "The attack at our home was  extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for  our lives."     

The chancellor and his wife will remain living at the home, but with addtional security.

Earlier Friday, 66 protesters who had been occupying Wheeler Hall  for several days were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing or resisting  arrest.    

 By the 2010-11 school year, undergraduate fees will increase by  more than $2,500, or 32 percent.

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