Protests Over Friday Protests Stay Calm

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jodi Hernandez

    Union members and students took part in noon rally on the Cal campus Monday to protest what they allege were aggressive tactics used by police Friday in response to the  takeover of a building on campus.
         
    Tanya Smith, president of the Berkeley chapter of the University of Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America Local 9119, said "there was a lot of brutality" on the part of officers who  responded to the daylong occupation of Wheeler Hall.

    Smith, whose union represents about 800 UC Berkeley researchers and technical employees, said some officers hit protesters with batons and other officers fired rubber bullets at protesters.

    Demonstrators said students and union members occupied Wheeler Hall to protest a 32 percent student fee increase that was approved by the UC Board of Regents on Thursday, and to protest the dismissal of 38 janitors.

    Protesters occupied Wheeler Hall at about 5:30 a.m. Friday. Police arrested three people on burglary charges in the morning and arrested 41 people on misdemeanor trespassing charges at the end of the day, UC Berkeley  spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

    "Everyone is disturbed by the way things unfolded on Friday," Mogulof said.

    The university issued a statement that included the following: "On Friday, 40 individuals, the majority of them students, took over the second floor of Wheeler Hall, refusing to come out unless the administration agreed to reinstate 38 laid-off custodians.  Supporters and on-lookers gathered at Wheeler Hall, urged on by fast-spreading electronic communications.  We urged the police to be as respectful as possible of our students.  As the size of the crowd grew and false fire alarms were repeatedly set off in many campus buildings, our police chief recommended bringing in additional officers from outside the UC Berkeley police department to help maintain order and ensure safety.  As safety barriers were brought in, confrontations began to occur between the police and the quickly growing crowd."

    Read statement in its intirety here.

    UC San Francisco police, Berkeley police and Alameda County sheriff's deputies assisted UC Berkeley police in responding to the  occupation, said Claire Holmes, UC Berkeley associate vice chancellor for communications.

    But Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said there won't be any court appearance because he won't decide until next week whether he will file charges against the protesters.

    Rogers said the three people arrested Friday morning have been released from custody and the 41 people arrested at the end of the day were cited at the scene and released.

     

    Bay City News contributed to this report.