…hereby condemns the over-reaction of police to demonstrations on our campus on November 9; formally alerts the Chancellor and those who report to him that this incident has greatly diminished confidence in the Campus’s leadership; calls upon the Chancellor to institute special training for police forces employed on campus to deal with acts of political expression and civil disobedience in the University and, more generally, to immediately implement the recommendations of the Police Review Board (The Brazil Report) as issued on June 14, 2010.
Whereas, The “right of the people peaceably to assemble” is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; Whereas, Section 9(a) of Article 9 of the California Constitution establishes that “the University of California constitutes a public trust”;
Whereas, Demonstrations consisting of both explicit and symbolic speech are a fundamental part of the public discourse in modern democracies and have been an important part of many social movements both nationally and internationally;
Whereas, Police violence against non-violent demonstrators on the Berkeley campus involving the use of batons, pepper spray, and direct physical force has caused personal injuries to students and faculty including broken bones; Whereas, Police violence against non-violent demonstrators has been consistently and repeatedly perpetrated over the last two years in at least five separate incidents on the Berkeley campus;
Whereas, The repeated incidents of police violence suggest that the Administration and the UCPD have adopted a policy of preemptive use of force against non-violent demonstrators who they anticipate may engage in acts of civil disobedience; and
Whereas, The Administration and UCPD appear to have not followed the recommendation of the June 14, 2010 Report of the Police Review Board (“Brazil report”) to clarify the proper lines of authority and their approach to non-violent civil disobedience on the Berkeley campus despite this confusion having been identified in the Report as a possible source of unnecessary violence;
Be it therefore RESOLVED, that:
- It is the sense of the faculty that the physical safety of campus community members (including police officers), and respect for their rights of political expression, dictate that police should not be deployed preemptively with riot weapons and tactics in response to non-violent demonstrations.
- The faculty calls upon the Administration to implement the recommendations of the June 14, 2010 Report of the Police Review Board (“Brazil report”).
- The faculty calls upon the Administration to immediately clarify the division of civilian and police authority over the response to campus demonstrations including requests for mutual aid to outside police forces.
- The faculty calls upon the Administration to make public the specific conditions under which it is prepared to authorize UCPD (as well as other forces operating under mutual aid) to use weapons and forceful tactics including, but not limited to, batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, tasers, flash-bang grenades, and pressure point grips, against demonstrators engaged in non-violent actions including linking arms and other forms of passive resistance to arrest.
- The faculty calls upon the Administration to announce that it will not authorize the use of such forceful tactics to prevent or preempt the formation of any assembly deemed unlawful that is composed in substantial part of students, faculty, or staff, and that remains non-violent.
- The faculty recommends that if a demonstration turns into an unlawful assembly (e.g., an occupation of a building) then the Administration should engage in dialogue, communication, and negotiation as the primary and preferred resolution approach.
- The faculty recommends that if and when arrests are deemed necessary to restore core university functions, the Administration not authorize the preemptive or disproportionate use of weapons and forceful tactics including, but not limited to, batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, tasers, flash-bang grenades, and pressure point grips.
- The faculty recommends that following any incident in which forcible methods were used, the Chancellor should convene a public meeting with a minimum of delay to explain the rationale of the decision to employ them.
- The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate shall establish a Senate Committee on Demonstrations and Student Actions composed solely of faculty members to consult with the Administration, UCPD, and students.
Whereas, nonviolent political protest engages fundamental rights of free assembly and free speech, and
Whereas, the campus has established time, place, and manner guidelines by which it encourages such activities, and
Whereas, protesters may sometimes engage in political noncooperation which includes acts of civil disobedience – including the deliberate, open and peaceful violation of particular laws, decrees, regulations, and
Whereas, there is a clear chain of command ending with the Chancellor, which implements training and deployment of police to respond appropriately to protests, and
Whereas, campuses should exercise restraint in responding to peaceful protests and seek to resolve the situation through dialogue, and
Whereas, we are outraged by the brutal and dangerous police responses against members of the University community at UC Berkeley and other campuses,
Therefore be it Resolved that the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate
- calls upon the Chancellor, EVCP, and Chief of Police to officially apologize to the campus community for the behavior of the UCPD on Nov. 9, 2011
- calls for immediate revision of policies and practices to minimize the danger of excessive use of force by the police, and to better train the police to employ nonviolent law enforcement that respects the rights of nonviolent protesters
- affirms its support for the right of free speech and peaceful protest by all members of the University community
- affirms its strong opposition to the State’s disinvestment in higher education, which is at the root of the student protests.
Whereas, Non-violent political protest engages fundamental rights of free assembly and free speech, and
Whereas, November 9th efforts by protestors to set up and remain in a temporary encampment near Sproul Hall constitutes non-violent political protest, and
Whereas, These non-violent actions were met with a brutal and dangerous police response (see, e.g., >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buovLQ9qyWQ&feature=share>), a response authorized in advance as well as retroactively justified by Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs LeGrande, and
Whereas, This is the third time in two years that such police violence has been unleashed upon protesters at Berkeley, with resulting bodily injuries to protestors, student and faculty outrage, a series of expensive lawsuits against the university, a tarnished university image, and a severely compromised climate for free expression on campus;
Therefore be it resolved that the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate:
- Opposes all violent police responses to non-violent protest, whether that protest is lawful or not.
- Condemns the UC Berkeley administration’s authorization of violent responses to non- violent protests over the past two years.
- Demands that Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor Breslauer, and Vice Chancellor LeGrande take responsibility for and repudiate such policing as it occurred over the past two years.
- Demands that these administrators develop, follow and enforce university policy to respond non-violently to non-violent protests, to secure student welfare amidst these protests, and to minimize the deployment of force and foster free expression and assembly on campus.