UC Student Association condemns police violence, supports UC Berkeley students

The UC Student Association issued a statement Thursday night in support of UC Berkeley students after the Wednesday Occupy Cal protest, which at times turned violent and saw 39 protesters arrested. Read the full text of the association’s statement below.

UC Students Stand with UC Berkeley

“Students throughout the UC system outraged by police brutality against students”

Berkeley- On Wednesday, hundreds of students gathered on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to demand an end to cuts to education and for new tax revenues raised from big businesses and the wealthy.

Wednesday’s demonstration at UC Berkeley was overwhelmingly peaceful and nonviolent.  The only major violence came as a result of excessive force used by the UC Police Department against the student demonstrators.  UC students are outraged by the brutal tactics used by the UCPD against students.  UCPD is supposed to protect students and ensure their safety. UCPD’s behavior on Wednesday at UC Berkeley was shameful, and only served to put students in greater danger.  UCSA calls for an immediate end to the use of such tactics by UCPD.

The UC Student Association calls for an investigation into Wednesday’s events at Berkeley and a suspension of the officers involved. “Unfortunately, excessive force by the UCPD has been all too commonplace. UCPD is not our enemy, and students are not theirs—UCPD must review its policies and practices on how to handle student demonstrations. The Regents, our Chancellors and UC President Yudof must stand up and protect students against violence on our own campuses,” said Claudia Magana, UC Student Association President.

Much of the police response came as a result of the UCPD attempting to prevent students from assembling on Sproul Plaza.  “The UC Berkeley campus and Sproul Plaza itself is the birthplace of the Free Speech movement.  It belongs to the students and to the people of California, and students have the right to assemble and speak on Sproul Plaza as they see fit. It is outrageous that they would be subject to such violence on their own campus. ” said Magana.

Jordan Bach-Lombardo is the university news editor.