Fearing violence, UC cancels Regents meeting; Chancellor pardons arrested UC protesters

UC Berkeley students will decide at tonight's 6 pm General Assembly how to respond to the latest UC actions.

Citing public safety concerns, University of California has canceled a UC Board of Regents meeting set for Wednesday morning at UCSF Mission Bay, a meeting that has been the target of months worth of student organizing to protest tuition hikes and service cuts and which dovetailed with the roiling Occupy movements in the Bay Area.

After police crackdowns on Occupy encampments in Oakland and in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza over the last week, the long-planned showdown with the UC Regents – whom protest groups such a ReFund California say are among the powerful 1 percent that Occupy has targeted and which they blame for deep cuts in California's public university system – was highly anticipated.

OccupyCal protesters have called for a strike on that and other UC campuses tomorrow to protest the violent police expulsion of student protesters at UC Berkeley last week. At a General Assembly at 6 pm today (Mon/14) in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, attendees will decide how to respond to the cancellation of the meeting.

Other groups that include labor representatives, such as ReFund California, will also independently decide how to proceed. “We're figuring out what to do,” said Jennifer Tucker with ReFund, noting that they will post that information on its website: www.makebankspaycalifornia.com.

A statement issued today by the UC President's Office cited information gathered by UC Police: “From various sources they had received information indicating that rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting.

“They believe that, as a result, there is a real danger of significant violence and vandalism. They have advised us further that this violence could place at risk members of the public, students lawfully gathered to voice concerns over tuition levels and any other issues, the UCSF community, including patients, and public safety officers, UC staff and neighbors of UCSF Mission Bay. They recommended to us, in the strongest of terms, that we cancel or postpone the meeting as scheduled.”

Tucker criticized the move: “We were floored this morning by the announcement that the Regents were canceling their meeting. There had been a statewide organizing campaign for months on this with thousands of students coming in on buses from throughout the state,” she said, adding that, “There will still be protests on Wednesday, but we're not sure what form they will take.”

Meanwhile, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, who was out of the country during the violent police crackdown last week, today issued a statement ordering a third-party investigation of the clash and granting amnesty under the Student Code of Conduct to all students who were arrested for blocking police from removing the encampment.

“It was only yesterday that I was able to look at a number of the videos that were made of the protests on November 9.  These videos are very disturbing.  The events of last Wednesday are unworthy of us as a university community.  Sadly, they point to the dilemma that we face in trying to prevent encampments and thereby mitigate long-term risks to the health and safety of our entire community,” he wrote. “Most certainly, we cannot condone any excessive use of force against any members of our community.”


camp wherever they want for any reason or no reason just because they want to?

In exactly what situation do you deem it reasonable for the authorities to re-open public space to, er, the public?

Or if you are really advocating anarchy then why don't you just say that?

As a reminder, an Occupy Oakland participant was shot dead by another Occupy Oakland participant last week. Problem?

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

We can use it however we see fit.
So can you.

If you don't like it, fuck you.
Move to China.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

in the park.

Why can't I do that?

I can't feed a child a San Francisco bought happy meal there either.

Nor can I smoke a San Francisco bought Walgreens camel there, if I smoked.

This sucks man.

I doubt I could even shoot at a happy meal with a sawed off shotgun down there.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

The public is using public space, more intensively and to a better use than it was before, unless you consider bocce ball a more of a compelling public need than assembly and protest. Yes, violence of any kind is a problem, but shootings are commonplace in Oakland even if they don't get the same level of attention that this one did. But that has little to with this movement, which is about ensuring that we have adequate public resources for violence prevention, mental health treatment, affordable housing programs, public education, and every other government program that has been slashed. I don't advocate violence or anarchy, but I understand those will be the byproducts of this standoff if the 1 percent doesn't recognize the seriousness of this situation and take steps to address it. Honestly, for all of the scorn and second-guessing that has been heaped on Occupy protesters, why don't you and others direct a little bit of it at the people who are disportionately causing the myriad problems this country faces: the greedy rich. And now, by cancelling this meeting, they are simply stoking that anger and frustration. The people have a right to confront these public servants, and by avoiding the moment of reckoning and refusing to take any steps to alleviate the gutting of California's public university system, they are making an already volatile situation all the more dangerous.

Posted by steven on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

Isn't that a tad presumptive and arrogant of you?

99% of residents are not Occupying.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 3:56 am

which for decades has opposed full funding our our state's university system. The board has to raise tuition if the legislature doesn't fully fund the UC system - it can't run a deficit. Place blame where blame is due - it's the Republicans in the legislature, who are anti-tax extremists, aided by Democrats who've kowtowed to union demands for bigger and bigger pay raises and pension increases. And it's students who've borne the brunt.

Posted by Ingwë on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

if you can get your fat opinionated ass out from behind your computer, Concern Troll.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

Ain't I a protestor too?

Posted by Ingwë on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

UC Berkeley Chancellor in touch with his senior management while in Korea. UCPD used by Chancellor Birgeneau to silence Cal. students protesting increases in tuition.
Further, University of California Berkeley hijack’s our kids’ futures. I love University of California (UC) having been student & lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition increases. Paying more is not a better education.
Californians are reeling from 19% unemployment (includes: those forced to work part time; those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others are paid.
Current pay increases for generously paid University of California Faculty is arrogance. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!
Paying more is not a better education. UC Berkeley(# 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive public university.
UC President Yudof,
Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting & freezing pay & benefits for chancellors & reforming pensions & the health benefits.
They said such faculty reforms “would not be healthy for UC”. Exodus of faculty, administrators? Who can afford them and where would they go?
We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system & the state to stop cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians’ income.
There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California’s ability to pay. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau is ousted.

Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

Posted by Milan Moravec on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

Check out the list of appointed members of the UC Board of Regents at http://www.ucwatch.org/accountableUC.html. Note that bank and real estate interests are well-represented there.

Every time fees are raised by the Regents, students have to go back to the banks for bigger loans, and the banks get more interest. At the closed sessions of the Regents, they discuss and vote the acquisition and disposal of UC property. Don't you think there might be a little conflict of interest there?

Taxpayers, wake up. Every time higher education budgets are cut, your money goes from paying for higher education straight into the corporate coffers of the people who wrecked your economy.

We used to call this kind of conflict of interest "setting the fox to guard the henhouse."

Wake up!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 7:47 am

are in the California legislature.

The regents don't allot state monies to the universities.

The legislature has been run by democrats for decades, their priorities run towards a different demographic.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 9:16 am

Sorry if this doesn't fit into your right wing ass licking agenda.
This isn't about whose fucking team is better, you overwrought sack of stupidity and frustration.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

and if you were stupid enough to part with it, particularly to be so dumb as to give it away to our corporate overlords - then fuck you.

Posted by guest on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

There is a reason for everything, the world isn't run on magic of some sort, you can't just perform the correct incantation and have it all change in a poof.

The reason tuition keeps going up is because the state gives it less and less money.

Wish reality away.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

Please call or email Chancellor Birgeneau and tell him how appalled you are by UCPD beating students on Nov. 9. Make it clear that you will think twice about donating to the university in the future if the violence continues. And tell him that you were disgusted to see him blaming the victims while attempting to justify police-instigated violence against peaceful protesters.

CAL is the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. Yet, at this pivotal moment in its history, the university has brought shame on its legacy and standing in the world. And now it's facing a lawsuit over the violence and arrests~


Posted by Lisa on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 6:47 pm