Our campus is not a war zone

illustration3
Katie Lee/Staff

In person, Bob Birgeneau is an affable man — a textbook example of a gentle Canadian neighbor. Years ago, as MIT’s Dean of Science, he used to command universal adoration and respect. Sadly, today’s Chancellor Birgeneau appears largely divorced from the Dean Birgeneau that I once admired while a graduate student at MIT. I still believe in his basic goodness. But I’m befuddled by the inconsonance of his two personae.

I cannot but condemn the grotesque use of force by certain members of the UC Berkeley Police Department and the Alameda County riot squad against defenseless students, faculty, staff and other peaceful demonstrators on Nov. 9 — a day of shame that may forever taint Chancellor Birgeneau’s leadership tenure at Berkeley.

The officers’ fierce tactics mimicked those used by the agents of dictatorial, retrograde and violent regimes that crush peaceful dissent. And to deteriorate matters further, Chancellor Birgeneau’s “Message to the Campus Community” on the day after the tragedy amounted to little more than a lamentable defense of the indefensible.

It’s absurd to claim — as did the message from the Chancellor’s Office — that the linking of hands by demonstrators is “not non-violent.” Evidently, whoever penned those words on behalf of the Chancellor was not august enough to declare that the linking of hands is “violent.” Isn’t “violent” the same as “not non-violent”? Those choice words — “not non-violent” — point to an untenable attempt at cloaking the egregious misconduct by the police.

Before he addresses the “campus community,” the Chancellor must first treat our wonderful students, faculty and staff as bona fide members of the community — not as combatants or hooligan riffraff. As if the raw, unprovoked violence perpetrated by certain members of the police force were not enough, the administration’s attempt at blaming the victims is tantamount to a reckless assault against truth and decency — little short of outright verbal violence against the humanity of those who tumbled to the ground at the crushing blows of the police batons on that odious day.

On Nov. 14, the Chancellor issued a second communique, titled “Chancellor’s message regarding last week’s events on campus.” In it, he indicated that he had been on travel during the protests, and had “remained in intermittent contact” with the campus during that time. The Chancellor characterized the videos pertaining to the protests as “very disturbing.” He also offered a limited amnesty to the students who had been arrested.

The Chancellor’s second message is objectionable on multiple fronts.

First, if indeed he did not know all the facts, he should not have allowed his staff to broadcast an ill-thought-out message bearing his name to the Berkeley community on the day after the protests.

Second, it is the victims of the police brutality who have the moral prerogative to forgive. It is the Chancellor who should apologize to the victims, for he is the final authority on campus, and bears ultimate responsibility.

Third, the Chancellor’s “amnesty” is worthless to the unfortunate protesters who were assailed and arrested by the Alameda County Sheriff’s riot police. Those victims are at now at the mercy of Alameda County’s District Attorney, over whom the Chancellor has no authority.  Nevertheless, the Chancellor should ask the DA to drop the charges.

Fourth, the administration should not have invited non-UCPD officers to our campus in the first place. The Alameda County riot police do not have strong personal bonds with our community, because they do not interact with our students, faculty and staff on a daily basis.  Naturally, they are not privy to the adverse ramifications of the use of force on the general morale of a university environment.

Fifth, the Chancellor’s second message assumes that we have a short collective memory. The police violence of Nov. 9 is only the last in a series of such incidents in our recent history, stemming mostly from ill-conceived campus policies on protests, poor use of law enforcement and an endemic inflexibility to give space to, and negotiate with, those who have grievances.

And sixth, the Chancellor stated that during his “week-long trip to Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai,” his team “successfully advanced some important new partnerships that will benefit our campus.” Although this is laudable, these partnerships are meaningless if the atmosphere back on campus is such that our students, faculty and staff live in fear for their own safety whenever they encounter a police officer whose job is to protect — not threaten — them.

Ultimatums about whether tents may be pitched on campus are misguided. Instructing officers to remove encampments only increases tension, alienates the officers from Berkeley’s civilian community, and eliminates the possibility of a peaceful settlement.

The trajectory looks like this. Officers are ordered to remove the tents. The demonstrators persist in their right to peaceful protest. The officers cannot return to their stations before executing their mission, so they clash with the demonstrators.

How is pitting officer against demonstrator, with no trained civilian intermediary on site to negotiate, smart policy?

Did the officers who exercised undue force do so under panic, because of poor training or by virtue of being in the throes of a power trip? This is an important question.  We must expect law enforcement officers to conduct themselves professionally. And we must hold them accountable in cases of misconduct. But we must not overlook the grander truth that the officers themselves are among the victims of an ill-conceived, misguided policy that situates them against defenseless demonstrators in a charged atmosphere.

In retrospect, does the Chancellor’s team ask whether the intransigent policy on encampments was worth the consequent physical injuries, the disturbed lives and livelihoods, the enormous expense (due to enforcement and ensuing law suits), the public ridicule of the administration by media commentators across the nation, the negative image projected of UC Berkeley and the depreciated morale on our otherwise amazing campus?

I’m outraged that the sacred precinct of our academic institution has been desecrated by unprovoked physical violence perpetrated against defenseless civilians, all to enforce an insupportable policy.

UC Berkeley is not a war zone. The Chancellor and the UC Regents must stop treating it as such. This madness must stop.

I call on Chancellor Birgeneau to reach out to the victims of police brutality, to demilitarize our campus, to revise the misguided policies that pit officer against civilian and to launch an investigation to determine the administrative command-and-control failures that have led — on more than one occasion in recent years — to the eruption of violence on our campus.  Failure to do so is bound to morph the audible suggestions that he resign into the shrill clarion call of an en masse, irreversible demand.

Babak Ayazifar is a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley.

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  • My911girl

    Please be sure to know all the facts before you condemn the police.  The demonstrators had surrounded the officers and told them that they would not let the officers go until they decided to sit down and negotiate with the protestors.  There are 2 main problems with this:  1)  The police can’t change University policy and are in no position to negotiate on the University’s behalf, and 2) You can’t hold the police hostage.  These officers used minimum force and advised everyone multiple times that they were going to use the OC mist.  The protestors refused to move.  To turn this around and say the protestors did nothing to deserve this is wrong.  To vilify the officers for doing a job they were told to do, in the least harmful way, is wrong.  

    • Stan De San Diego

      The children screaming “police brutality” aren’t interested in the truth. They want to make this into a “free speech” issue to cow everyone into letting them set up their tents and establish another filthy squatter’s camp – this one on the Cal campus.

  • Apparently Birgeneau’s police department also beat Robert Hass – the former poet-laureeate of the United States (see nytimes.com for Hass’ story).  Even more apologies from him are in order.

  • You are the ones making the campus a war zone with your “occupy” shit, with your insistence on depriving everybody else of use of campus facilities. Occupation is an inherently military concept. Savages and animals.

  • Its1967

    * R-e-c-a-l-l Alameda County (Calif) Sheriff – Gregory J. Ahern. He and his Blue Meanies are responsible for the cop rioting – assault & battery, on the Cal campus and D/T Oakland Occupy demonstrations. He’s a politician not an imperial dynasty!
    http://alamedacountysheriff.org/ * If the District Attorney tries to prosecute Occupy Cal or Occupy Oakland, recall her ass too! She’s also a politician! http://www.alcoda.org/ * Fire!!! the police chief who in the following days said he’d “…use rubber bullets and tear gas…”  on campus. Why are CAL students paying for this pig’s salary??!!* During the last Depression, homeless & the hungry (we are moving quickly there again) set up “Hooverville’s” as a protest and as camps for protection. Wiki has a lame & limited discusion of them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville * During the anti-apartheid campaign of 1985-86, all or most of UC’s campuses had shantitowns on campus, excepting Berkeley where they were met with ultra-violent campus cops & particularly violent BART & Alameda County “Blue Meanies” Sheriffs. The nasty violent pigs they historically are. Don’t allow the TOOLS and pigs crush the Cal movement were the tradition of social commentary IS THE TRADITION and not the pigs whose salaries we pay for! Don’t fall for this “we’ll form a commission to study this or that” and then 4 years later, after  most have moved on, squeak-out a report to be files in the basement of Doe!
      Cowardly twits form commissions to hide behind! not leaders! If the heat is too strong Birgeneau, RESIGN!
    UC Berkeley Alum-Class of 1982!

  • Malcom

    thanks to liberals, socialists, and democrats  America is dying.

    • Sad

      Thanks to big bank bailouts and a complete lack of accountability, America is dying.

  • Ht

    Yiu guys can have this clown, I’m glad he left U. Toronto.

  • Minatallah580

    dude can you stop flagging every damn post thats up here really

  • Minatallah580

    :P

  • Burbfabulous

    what a shame my post keeps getting flagged and deleted for politics

  • The ‘War
    on Terror’ has come to the UC Berkeley campus. urbanshield.org, a
    military, multi-agency training exercise and competition took place across
    the nation and included military agents of human rights violating countries (http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies)
    who came to the U.S to share their oppression
    techniques.

    Alameda County, where UC Berkeley lies, held such an event in the local area
    October 14-17, 2011, with Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept in charge. Furthermore,
    UC Berkeley is the only educational institution listed among their state
    supporters (http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies).
    It will come as no surprise then that UCPD Berkeley is also listed, along with
    Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and that in the past the event has
    occurred on UC property.

    The student abuse by UCPD in the afternoon coupled with the evening beatings in
    unison with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, sprinkled with the
    legendary Oakland Police Department in attendance is proof of the
    militarization of the campus.

    Peaceful protest was met with riot geared police officers who punched students
    in the abdomen with batons and pulled female protestors to the floor by their
    hair. Once UCPD destroyed the tents, they retreated to their
    command center, the Student Union building of all places, to calculate their
    next attack in unison with neighboring agencies. Perhaps we should examine how
    the police took over the Student Union? Who is receiving revenue from the
    businesses there? How much power does admin have over the ASUC decisions?

    Officers overlooked Sproul Plaza from the windows and balconies of the second
    floor of the Martin Luther King building!  Chancellor Birgeneau, was away
    on a tri-nation Asian tour though the ‘Occupy’ event had been advertised for
    several weeks prior. Knowing the potential conditions for the use of force as
    apparent in Birgeneau’s first letter, he decided to go ahead with a gala in
    Seoul in honor of he and his wife on November 8, 2011
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events), ball in Tokyo on November 9, 2011(http://my.berkeley.edu/site/Clubs?club_id=1186&sid=14801&pg=news)
    and received only “intermittent” updates. Post-beating when the Chancellor said
    he did not have time to review the
    videos until he returned, he was at Berkeley Ball 2011 in Shanghai
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events).

     

  • The ‘War on Terror’ has come to the UC Berkeley campus. urbanshield.org, a
    military, multi-agency training exercise and competition took place across
    the nation and included military agents of human rights violating countries
    such as Israel and Bahrain(http://urbanshield.org/index.p… who came to the U.S to share their oppression techniques.

    Alameda County, where UC Berkeley lies, held such an event in the local area
    October 14-17, 2011, with Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept in charge. Furthermore,
    UC Berkeley is the only educational institution listed among their state
    supporters (http://urbanshield.org/index.p….
    It will come as no surprise then that UCPD Berkeley is also listed, along with
    Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and that in the past the event has
    occurred on UC property.

    The student abuse by UCPD in the afternoon coupled with the evening beatings in
    unison with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, sprinkled with the
    legendary Oakland Police Department in attendance is proof of the
    militarization of the campus.

    Peaceful protest was met with riot geared police officers who punched students
    in the abdomen with batons and pulled female protestors to the floor by their
    hair. Once UCPD destroyed the tents, they retreated to their
    command center, the Student Union building of all places, to calculate their
    next attack in unison with neighboring agencies. Perhaps we should examine how
    the police took over the Student Union? Who is receiving revenue from the
    businesses there? How much power does admin have over the ASUC decisions?

    Officers overlooked Sproul Plaza from the windows and balconies of the second
    floor of the Martin Luther King building!  Chancellor Birgeneau, was away
    on a tri-nation Asian tour though the ‘Occupy’ event had been advertised for
    several weeks prior. Knowing the potential conditions for the use of force as
    apparent in Birgeneau’s first letter, he decided to go ahead with a gala in
    Seoul in honor of he and his wife on November 8, 2011
    (http://international.berkeley…., ball in Tokyo on November 9, 2011(http://my.berkeley.edu/site/Cl
    and received only “intermittent” updates. Post-beating when the Chancellor said
    he did not have time to review the videos until he returned, he was at Berkeley Ball 2011 in Shanghai
    (http://international.berkeley…..

     Birgeneau
    sent out a letter that students could use Sproul 24/7 if they wished
    minus tents, sleeping bags and cooking stoves. At night a second
    surprise attack took place as riot geared Alameda County Sheriff ran up
    behind students from behind Sproul Hall and began the beat down once
    again. Even by-standers including children and elderly were put at risk,
    which is seen when UC Berkeley’s esteemed Poet Laureate Robert Hass 70
    years old is hit with a baton. More and more officers began to take over
    different areas of the very Sproul we were told we could be at even
    though the tents were gone!

    I wrote to UCPD Community Outreach Officer Adan Tejada about the outreach failure
    in not knowing who the Laureates and professors were and his response was that
    there were too many to know, but the he sees my point.

    There
    have also been UCPD from as far away as UC San Diego on campus working
    with our officers. It is no surprise that yesterday UC Davis students
    were pepper
    sprayed for protesting! I am sure it was a co-ordinated effort complete with
    help from CISCO and many other agencies listed in the urbanshield.org website.

  •  

    The ‘War
    on Terror’ has come to the UC Berkeley campus. urbanshield.org, a
    military, multi-agency training exercise and competition took place across
    the nation and included military agents of human rights violating countries
    such as Israel and
    Bahrain(http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies)
    who came to the U.S to share their oppression techniques.

    Alameda County, where UC Berkeley lies, held such an event in the local area
    October 14-17, 2011, with Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept in charge. Furthermore,
    UC Berkeley is the only educational institution listed among their state
    supporters (http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies).
    It will come as no surprise then that UCPD Berkeley is also listed, along with
    Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and that in the past the event has
    occurred on UC property.

    The student abuse by UCPD in the afternoon coupled with the evening beatings in
    unison with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, sprinkled with the
    legendary Oakland Police Department in attendance is proof of the
    militarization of the campus.

    Peaceful protest was met with riot geared police officers who punched students
    in the abdomen with batons and pulled female protestors to the floor by their
    hair. Once UCPD destroyed the tents, they retreated to their
    command center, the Student Union building of all places, to calculate their
    next attack in unison with neighboring agencies. Perhaps we should examine how
    the police took over the Student Union? Who is receiving revenue from the
    businesses there? How much power does admin have over the ASUC decisions?

    Officers overlooked Sproul Plaza from the windows and balconies of the second
    floor of the Martin Luther King building!  Chancellor Birgeneau, was away
    on a tri-nation Asian tour though the ‘Occupy’ event had been advertised for
    several weeks prior. Knowing the potential conditions for the use of force as
    apparent in Birgeneau’s first letter, he decided to go ahead with a gala in
    Seoul in honor of he and his wife on November 8, 2011
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events), ball in Tokyo on November 9, 2011(http://my.berkeley.edu/site/Clubs?club_id=1186&sid=14801&pg=news)
    and received only “intermittent” updates. Post-beating when the Chancellor said
    he did not have time to review the
    videos until he returned, he was at Berkeley Ball 2011 in Shanghai
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events).

     Birgeneau sent out a letter that students could
    use Sproul 24/7 if they wished minus tents, sleeping bags and cooking stoves.
    At night a second surprise attack took place as riot geared Alameda County
    Sheriff ran up behind students from behind Sproul Hall and began the beat down
    once again. Even by-standers including children and elderly were put at risk,
    which is seen when UC Berkeley’s esteemed Poet Laureate Robert Hass is hit with
    a baton. More and more officers began to take over different areas of the very
    Sproul we were told we could be at even though the tents were gone!

    I
    wrote to UCPD Community Outreach Officer Adan Tejada about the outreach failure
    in not knowing who the Laureates and professors were and his response was that
    there were too many to know, but the he sees my point.

    There
    have also been UCPD from as far away as UC San Diego on campus working with our
    officers. It is no surprise that yesterday UC Davis students were pepper
    sprayed for protesting! I am sure it was a co-ordinated effort complete with
    help from CISCO and many other agencies listed in the urbanshield.org website.

  • Fcking2000

    the whole planet is a war zone
    the dominant culture is consuming the planet

  • Win

    BABAKED birgefuck

  • Anonymous
  • Burbfabulous

     

    The ‘War
    on Terror’ has come to the UC Berkeley campus. urbanshield.org, a
    military, multi-agency training exercise and competition took place across
    the nation and included military agents of human rights violating countries
    such as Israel and
    Bahrain(http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies)
    who came to the U.S to share their oppression techniques.

    Alameda County, where UC Berkeley lies, held such an event in the local area
    October 14-17, 2011, with Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept in charge. Furthermore,
    UC Berkeley is the only educational institution listed among their state
    supporters (http://urbanshield.org/index.php/about/supporting-agencies).
    It will come as no surprise then that UCPD Berkeley is also listed, along with
    Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and that in the past the event has
    occurred on UC property.

    The student abuse by UCPD in the afternoon coupled with the evening beatings in
    unison with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, sprinkled with the
    legendary Oakland Police Department in attendance is proof of the
    militarization of the campus.

    Peaceful protest was met with riot geared police officers who punched students
    in the abdomen with batons and pulled female protestors to the floor by their
    hair. Once UCPD destroyed the tents, they retreated to their
    command center, the Student Union building of all places, to calculate their
    next attack in unison with neighboring agencies. Perhaps we should examine how
    the police took over the Student Union? Who is receiving revenue from the
    businesses there? How much power does admin have over the ASUC decisions?

    Officers overlooked Sproul Plaza from the windows and balconies of the second
    floor of the Martin Luther King building!  Chancellor Birgeneau, was away
    on a tri-nation Asian tour though the ‘Occupy’ event had been advertised for
    several weeks prior. Knowing the potential conditions for the use of force as
    apparent in Birgeneau’s first letter, he decided to go ahead with a gala in
    Seoul in honor of he and his wife on November 8, 2011
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events), ball in Tokyo on November 9, 2011(http://my.berkeley.edu/site/Clubs?club_id=1186&sid=14801&pg=news)
    and received only “intermittent” updates. Post-beating when the Chancellor said
    he did not have time to review the
    videos until he returned, he was at Berkeley Ball 2011 in Shanghai
    (http://international.berkeley.edu/international-events).

     Birgeneau sent out a letter that students could
    use Sproul 24/7 if they wished minus tents, sleeping bags and cooking stoves.
    At night a second surprise attack took place as riot geared Alameda County
    Sheriff ran up behind students from behind Sproul Hall and began the beat down
    once again. Even by-standers including children and elderly were put at risk,
    which is seen when UC Berkeley’s esteemed Poet Laureate Robert Hass is hit with
    a baton. More and more officers began to take over different areas of the very
    Sproul we were told we could be at even though the tents were gone!

    I
    wrote to UCPD Community Outreach Officer Adan Tejada about the outreach failure
    in not knowing who the Laureates and professors were and his response was that
    there were too many to know, but the he sees my point.

    There
    have also been UCPD from as far away as UC San Diego on campus working with our
    officers. It is no surprise that yesterday UC Davis students were pepper
    sprayed for protesting! I am sure it was a co-ordinated effort complete with
    help from CISCO and many other agencies listed in the urbanshield.org website.

  • Aloni Cohen

    The same thing just happened at UC Davis:

    Video of pepper spraying protesters sitting on the ground (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM)

    Chancellor’s unapologetic letter (http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/messages/2011/protest_action_111811.html)

    Faculty’s letter directed directly at the Chancellor (http://bicyclebarricade.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/open-letter-to-chancellor-linda-p-b-katehi/)

  • Administrative Hubris

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/lessons-from-penn-state/41210
    “I would not trust a single college administrator to conduct an
    investigation into a criminal matter. They don’t have the interests of
    the victim in mind. They don’t have any interest in protecting the
    rights of the accused. Their interest is in protecting the school’s
    reputation (and their own jobs).”

  • Guest

    Professor Ayazifar, thank you for publicly defending the students and faculty who were brutalized by UCPD. I disagree with you on at least one point, however. UC BERKELEY *IS* A WAR ZONE. You are perceptive to point out that the administration treats the campus as a war zone. But I don’t agree with you that it can be treated as anything else. Opposing the Regent’s and administration’s austerity measures is tantamount to a declaration of war against neoliberal capitalism. This is precisely why chancellors at various UC campuses have repeatedly called out the riot cops on anti-austerity demonstrators. We pose a real threat to the 1%. The “sacred precinct of our academic institution” has long been desecrated by capital and its state servants; the university is just as much linked to the capitalist system as the factories and securities markets.

    • Guest

      If you think the laconic UC Berkeley campus is a war zone then you’ve clearly never been involved in any serious conflict.

      • Stan De San Diego

        Nor does the person you are replying to have any concept what “police brutality” really is…

  • What’s new

    Are we outsourcing illustration duties to a local elementary school?

  • EE20 student

    birgeneau just got babakued.

  • Hira

    i agree that chancellor bigeneau should respond much differently to the occupyCal movement. the students have a legitimate concern, and UC berkeley as well has the legacy of freedom of speech and revolutionary initiative. chancellor birgeneau must act accordingly and use civil measures to come to an agreement with the students.

    i agree that chancellor birgeneau does not need to resign, but that he needs to do things much differently than he has been in the past week and a half.- uc berkeley student

  • Matt Alum

    Students don’t get extra rights just because they are students, contrary to popular student belief. Break the law and use physical force, and you will encounter police action. The organizing group is even quoted in another Daily Cal article saying they were purposefully seeking confrontation. Open your eyes, the protest this week was peaceful and hence no problems, last week protesters used physical force and were treated with it right back.

    • Guest

      100% correct.

      Townies wouldn’t be able to set up tents on campus after being told not to, so why should students get to? Are they trying to make themselves a privileged class or something?

    • Logic

       There was no law broken and the students used no physical force.  They simply occupyied a space on public property.  Purposefully seeking confrontation is not saying seeking phyical altercation.  It is saying they want to be confronted by the administration that has been denying their requests for a voice in this matter.  That is the whole point of protest.  To seek confrontation from those who are ignoring you.  Open your eyes.  Where you even there?  The only major difference between Thursday’s protest and the following Tuesday’s was that on Tuesday, the police were being watched and wouldn’t dare make the same mistake again.  There was a larger gathering, more press, and the same tactics were employed.  There were tents being erected and the peaceful occupation of lands for which these students pay with their tuition.  They have a right to use that land peacefully and lawfully and on Thursday, that right was abused with outright violence.

  • jackterrier

    Linking arms to prevent the Police from doing their job is a SHOW OF FORCE.
    When you do that you are ILLEGALLY using FORCE to COMPEL others to action/inaction.

    The use of FORCE is VIOLENT.

    IDIOT.

    • Seejur

      ya… they should have beaten more and more Martin Luther King in the 60s till he would have been a carcass of blood and meat. What a violent behavior is linking arms! I think Al Quaeda should use the same tactic…. the horror!

      • Anonymous

        Embracing someone is a gesture of love.  It is a nonviolent act.  Embrace a cop while he is chasing after a lawbreaker, however, and he would be fully justified in using force to break your embrace.

        • Sad

          …relevance?

        • Logic

          Embracing an officer is considered assualting a police officer so he is justified to use necessary but prudent force.  If anyone, including the protesters, decides to start embracing officers in an attempt to let some criminals flee, I hope they use necessary force to free themselves and arrest any accomplices to the crime.  Notice I said “decide to start” as none of these protesters embraced any police officers and none of them were accomplices to any illegal action.  Standing at a particular point on public property is not illegal if you are peaceful and don’t endanger any lives.  The only lives at risk were those students at the front being rammed in the stomach, sides and backs with billy clubs.  Internal bleeding is a killer.

    • Oski

      Force = mass*acceleration. Linking arm is  clearly potential energy, and not kinetic energy. Hence it does not contribute to “force” for no there is no change in acceleration. 

      • Anonymous

        When cops tried to do their duty by walking forward, they were met with an opposite force exactly equivalent in magnitude.  The standoff = equilibrium which means the protesters were exerting an opposite force directed against the cops.  Thus the cops were justified in using batons to eliminate the force coming from the protesters.
        (source: Physics 7A)

        • ptook

          No. The cops are justified in using their baton and other equipment to peacefully arrest those who are impeding upon their ability to enforce the law. If the protesters react violently or resist arrest, then appropriate action may be taken. Seeing as this did not happen, the cops are not justified in using violence to eliminate the force.
          We arm and equip the police as protectors, not attackers.

          • Anonymous

            The protesters reacted with an equally strong opposite force to prevent the lawful arrest of their co-conspirators.  That’s enough justification for UCPD and Alameda County cops to use batons.  An analogy would be passive child abuse.  If you prevent your child from getting medical treatment then you are as guilty of abuse as if you had beaten him.

          • poor analogy, and typical police text book (? non-nonsensical?).  the real physics at work were: A. an object that remains not set in motion will tend to stay in said position.
            B. an equal reaction to the police at that moment would have been the crowd walking “towards” the police (equipped with shields, batons, as well as offensive and defensive training- as the police were walking towards the students.

            it’s elementary physics here people (and such is life)

            your example of a family preventing a child from seeking help can’t relate for it’s speaking of another situation entirely.  the students were not ill or preventing someone from seeking “a doctor” or “aid”.  not one person was in danger. rather they were peacefully standing ground.

            for example, i’ve seen many, many protestors tie themselves to trees, to prevent the tree being removed.
            was the said protestor struck down in the name of “peace” or “security”?  absolutely not!

          • Anonymous

            You fail to understand elementary physics.  Allow me to educate you.  The line of protesters was at rest, that’s true.  However, when the police tried to get past that line the protesters had to temporarily push back with an equal and opposite force.   It’s known as Newton’s 3rd Law. 

            See http://www.studyphysics.ca/newnotes/20/unit01_kinematicsdynamics/chp05_forces/lesson17.htm

            Anytime an object applies a force to another object, there is an equal and opposite force back on the original object.

            If you push on a wall you feel a force against your hand…
            the wall is pushing back on you with as much force as you apply to it. If this wasn’t happening, your hand would accelerate through the wall!

            Standing on the ground, you push on the ground with a force due to gravity (Fg down) and the ground pushes back on you (FN up).

            My second example proves that you could be breaking the law through INACTION (doing nothing) when you disregard a sick child or disregard a polic officer’s commands.

          • Logic

            Your first error is in thinking that force = violence.  By your logic, if someone shoves you, your body is exerting a force on his hand as per Newton’s Third Law, and thus you am acting in violence and should be arrested?  If that were true, you could be arrested for living as you are constantly exerting force on many things.  If you simply walk by someone, you are exerting a gravitational force on them, as small as it might be.  Is the act of walking by someone without making any physical contact violent?  By your reasoning, the only way for someone who is shoved by a police officer to not be engaging in violence themselves is to somehow allow the officer to pass through them without contacting any particles of your body, which I could only guess would involve interdimensional travel.

          • Anon

            Linking arms when the cops try to arrest you = resisting arrest

          • Sad

            …and when did they try to arrest them? Between jabs? I didn’t see any arrest attempts made, any calm sort of negotiations. Two lines standing off, then one line vehemently bashing the other line and pulling people down and THEN arresting them. But no “You are under arrest” before the batons came out.

          • More Anon

            No it doesn’t.

        • 1234

          “standoff = equilibrium”… this is such a crock of shit…. I took 7A and don’t ever recall that statement being made…. it is safe to say that your research methods are very misguided and completely impractical. I get the impression that your one who likes to talk just to be heard. Just shut up and stop waisting everyones time with your bullshit.

          • Anonymous

            When the cops and the protesters were at a temporary standoff, with both sides pushing against each other but neither side winning, that was an equilibrium point.  You may have taken 7A but you failed to apply what you learned.  You probably failed 7A as well.  What a “waist”.

          • Guest

            Hi, Calipenguin. I understand that you feel strongly and are biased quite against the protest movement, but I don’t think stirring up internet forums is really going to get you anywhere. I’ve seen you around in most of the articles about the movement and while your arguments “seem valid”, you seem to be stubbornly defending yourself and twisting language to suit your needs. Be more open minded. And please remember that ad hominem arguments will never get you anywhere. Thanks.

          • Guest

            I believe that you are wrong in criticizing someone for expressing his or her own opinion on the internet. You also argue a non sequitur when you state that you don’t believe internet discussion serves Calipenguin a purpose, but then use the imperative in addressing his or her open-mindedness. QED, you falsely assume that only your arguments are valid.

    • Seriously?

      This semantic equivocation is as vacuous as claiming that standing in front of the cops exerts a FORCE on the ground, which COMPELS others to inaction, and the use of FORCE is VIOLENCE. Also, do you really not see the irony of claiming that the students were engaging in a show of force, when compared large police presence there, replete in full riot gear?

    • Bayley Adams

      I guess that makes sense, in a way.  As a society, we reserve the legal use of force for the police, because that’s their job and they can be better trained and provisioned to try and make the use of force less dangerous.  So people respond to crime (i.e. a robbery) by calling the cops rather than personally engaging the criminals, because the cops are both less likely to get hurt, and less likely to hurt the criminal (note “less likely” rather than “unlikely” – some situations are screwed either way).

      At the same time, I think there should be a distinction between the use of force and the use of violent action.  The students are using force in that they are physically obstructing people from getting past, yes, but they are not attacking the cops.  (I think – I haven’t seen all the videos.  But let’s say that they weren’t, ’cause it’s a more interesting question.)  Is it reasonable for the police to respond to the use of nonviolent force, with violent force?  What is their reasoning in doing so?  My guess would be that they draw the line at the use of any force, to make sure that the crowd is not allowed to build up to a point where they would use violent force.  But I’m not quite satisfied with that guess, and would love to hear others’ input.

      Also, while I do not appreciate your use of caps-lock and personal inputs to attempt to simplify a reasonably complex topic, I must at least thank you for not resorting to the modern equivalent of a Godwin’s Law, as have several others in this thread already.

      • Bayley Adams

        Sigh.  *personal insults.  [third paragraph]

        Sorry for not adequately spellchecking before posting.

      • Anonymous

         You have good questions and I believe each city and each police department would have different answers.  For example, I don’t believe the police would be justified in running over a protester who lies down in front of a squad car.  However, if a shoplifter is running away and his accomplices form a nonviolent human chain to allow the shoplifter to escape, then I believe the cops in pursuit have the moral right to use batons to break through the human chain even though shoplifting is a minor offense, just as camping in front of Sproul is a minor offense.

    • Logic

      Wow, seriously people.  We are not talking about point particles in some experiment.  We are talking about real people with real feelings.  If you want to study the physics of the situation, calculate the force exerted by the end of a billy club as it is forcfully jabbed into someone whose only crime was to stand somewhere.  The police are not above the law either and have no more right to occupy a certain space as anyone else.  You can call it “doing their job” but it doesn’t make it legal and it doesn’t make it their job anymore than calling it “abusing their power”.  Watch.  “Linking arms to prevent the Police from abusing their power is a SHOW OF FORCE.”  And when you are doing that, you are non-violently using solidarity to prevent forces en mass from picking on the weak and unarmed.  You are standing up to a more powerful force saying regardless of what they want you to believe or do, you are an individual with inalienable rights to peaceful protest and the basic human right to occupy space.  Standing on public property, not harming anyone or endangering anyone is not illegal and therefore police trying to move someone from that spot is abuse of power as it is without legal reason.  Check out a law text.  Refusing to be unlawfully removed from public land is not illegal.  Unlawfully moving someone from public land is illegal.

  • E. Lewis

    Babak is ask very earnest questions in his letter.  We are accountable!  This includes:  Prof. Babak, Pres Obama, Me, you, Chancellor
    Birgeneau, the clerk @ Safeway who rings up my groceries, my son, my pastor, my
    doctor, my lawyer, my boss.  I think you
    get the point.  What Babak is asking of
    Chancellor Birgeneau is within reason. 
    Please give us an answer to those six key points that Babak brought-up
    in his letter Chancellor Birgeneau.  We
    the people are not stupid and some of us do not have short memories.  I would like to thank Babak for speaking out
    about what’s happening on campus.  Thank
    you Prof. Babak!

    • Anonymous

      Babak forgot the most important question of all, which is “what are the limits of free expression”?

      • JaneB

        I’m not sure.  But you clearly exceeded yours, a long time ago..

        • Anonymous

          Incorrect Jane.  Unlike the Occupy hooligans, I followed all the rules.

  • Anonymous

    Babak’s judgment is clouded because he fears Cal is turning into a miniature version of his native Iran.  He puts the blame squarely on the UCPD without making any requests of protesters to obey campus rules while protesting peacefully.  How would he like it if anti-war protesters burst into his Signal Analysis class and linked arms with each other?  Would he call UCPD if it meant bruising some ribs to break through that human chain?  Or would he quietly cancel his classes and agree to never teach EECS again?

    • guest

      what the fuck

      • Anonymous

        Fuck Iran.

    • Oski

      Please read the article again for you missed the key points. 

      • Anonymous

        No I didn’t.  Show me where he asked students to obey campus rules during protests?  As for his other key points, do you want me to refute them one by one?

        • Blah

          Ultimatums about whether tents may be pitched on campus are misguided. Instructing officers to remove encampments only increases tension, alienates the officers from Berkeley’s civilian community, and eliminates the possibility of a peaceful settlement.
          The trajectory looks like this. Officers are ordered to remove the tents. The demonstrators persist in their right to peaceful protest. The officers cannot return to their stations before executing their mission, so they clash with the demonstrators.
          How is pitting officer against demonstrator, with no trained civilian intermediary on site to negotiate, smart policy?
          Did the officers who exercised undue force do so under panic, because of poor training or by virtue of being in the throes of a power trip? This is an important question.  We must expect law enforcement officers to conduct themselves professionally. And we must hold them accountable in cases of misconduct. But we must not overlook the grander truth that the officers themselves are among the victims of an ill-conceived, misguided policy that situates them against defenseless demonstrators in a charged atmosphere.

          Here you go. Read those paragraphs again. He blames not the UCPD but the administration’s poor leadership. 

          • Anonymous

            “He blames not the UCPD…”

            Read the entire letter.  He does blame UCPD for exercising  undue force because of poor training.  And you still haven’t answered my question about where Babak ever asked protesters to obey campus rules as they exercise their free speech?  He does not hold the demonstrators responsible for any wrongdoing.  This is not Iran, this is America, and our cops conducted themselves professionally.

          • Castorp

            “He does blame UCPD for exercising  undue force because of poor training.”

            He is clearly indicating that the primary blame falls with the university administration, and is counting the police among the victims of the administration’s policies.

            Read the excerpt again.

          • Anonymous

            I never said that he does NOT blame the administration.  But he does blame the cops too.  He says “Did the officers who exercised undue force do so under panic, because of poor training or by virtue of being in the throes of a power trip?”  Thus Blah is incorrect.  Which proves that Babak is blaming everyone except the real culprits, the Occupy protesters who intentionally provoked the police by doing the one thing they were warned not to do, like defiant toddlers testing the bounds of their parent’s rules.

          • Dee F. Ess

             Here is something he told his students.

            “For my part, I don’t find pitching tents on campus to be an effective
            channel to communicate grievances.  But my personal view on the matter
            is irrelevant.  Clearly, many bright young men and women DO think that
            encampment is an effective method.  And I vehemently support their right
            to do so, as long as they’re peaceful and their actions do not pose a
            public hazard, which has been the case so far.”

            So no, he does not support the Occupy protester pitching tents but does support their right to do so peacefully.

            And since you know why the officers exercised undue force, please explain it to all of us.  You obviously know as you say he is wrong to question if it was under panic, poor training, or a power trip?
            You seemed to stop reading there as he continued, “But we must not overlook the grander truth that the officers themselves
            are among the victims of an ill-conceived, misguided policy that
            situates them against defenseless demonstrators in a charged atmosphere.”

            Therefore, he does NOT blame the officers for doing their jobs but the administration for telling them to use undue force and placing them in a situation where they were not needed.  Watch the videos, there is not one student fighting back.  Just a lot of WTFs and a chant to stop hitting students.  I am sorry for those officers for apparently not having the right to say no to their orders to use violence.  To me, they looked just about as uneasy about the situation as the students that were being rammed with billy clubs.

          • Guest

            Ultimatums about whether tents may be pitched on campus are misguided.

            No they aren’t.

            Tent encampments on campus are disruptive to the learning environment, create a health hazard, and are dangerously unsafe for the students living in them.

    • I appreciate your point of view and it obviously is based on real life scenarios and such. I do think there may be some truth to this…
      At this point I do fear this nation running a muck with outlaw behavior.  The corporations are running this nation, and everything goes down hill from there.  Money calls the shots in America.  It’s an unavoidable truth that we all are being subjected to.   I also believe and fear that money is running our judicial system.  Say a large corporation accuses someone of mischief.  Who’s word will hold a stronger place in court.  The individual, with little to no legal representation, or the corporation with the legal representation of a small country to back its accusations…

      • Anonymous

        Say a citizen accuses a public employee union of misconduct.  Whose word will have more impact in court?  The individual, with little or no legal representation, or the union, with the legal representation purchased by millions of dollars of union funds?

        • Anon

          Calipenguin, do you just sit on the DailyCal waiting to shit on everyone? Your commentary is getting unbelievably annoying, especially in respect to the Occupy protests.

    • Sad

      And you know Babek personally?

    • Dee F. Ess

       Oh no, look who knows how to use Google.  His judgement is based on logic and fact.  In fact, he doesn’t not support the use of encampments to try and get a point across as he feels there are more useful and relevent methods to work through a disagreement.  And if protesters burst into one of his lectures I’m sure he would laugh at first and then ask them why they are there.  If they were anti-war protesters I’m sure he would reason with them as to why it is completely pointless to occupy his class as he is not pro-war and signal analysis has nothing to do with war.  Who knows if he would call UCPD after that as if they didn’t listen to him or his students, they would obviously not be there to protest war, but just to be dicks.

      My guess would be he would probably call on them to answer something about CT convolution or Fourier transforms and make sure they left with a better understanding of signals than when they arrived.

      Also, I hope you realize these protests have nothing to do with war.  Its about insane tuition increases.

  • Guest

    Yes, the absolute *worst* thing the administration and UCPD could do, even in their own self-interest, is to react violently.
    Frankly, from their perspective, the best reaction would have likely been none at all — to ignore the protests until they die down.

    Sometimes, just sometimes, people need to learn…

    … ignorance is bliss.

    • Its1967

      Often, ignore people are MORE dangerous than the malicious!

  • James-huang

    now we would be exceeding ourselves with a president that knows his fourier transforms

  • Guest

    Friday, November 18, 2011 at 1:02 am
    Updated Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm
    ..?

    it’s 1:00am right now..

  • Ibrahim Awwal

    Babak 2012

    • Anonymous

      To put it bluntly, “Occupy Wall Street” is Obama’s America. He has organized it, perhaps indirectly, but has done so nonetheless via his relentless venom for “the rich” coupled with his ongoing calls for more people to sacrifice and to “pay their fair share.” Of course, he doesn’t mean the hippies and freaks in the protests should pay their share. Rather, he is fostering a feeling of betrayal in them so they will continue to “rage against the machine.”
      Look at it, folks–Obama’s America. Ain’t it great? It’s a place where law is disparaged (you can defecate on police cars), capitalism is hated (“eat the rich”), and people are entitled to take money from others even if the takers played no role in earning the money they crave (especially if they played no role in earning it).
      Hippies, freaks and union goons, all together in Obama’s community, have organized to oppose everything great about America. All the little ideologues are trying their best to imitate the masters:  Obama, Marx, and that Jimmy Hoffa dude who loves to tell Obama “this is your army”, “we are ready to march” and a bunch of other nonsense.

      Since this is Obama’s army–the community he has organized–I suppose he gets the credit for their great accomplishments. You know, the vandalism in Oakland, the sexual assault at Occupy Dallas, the policemen attacked at Occupy Denver, the drug overdose at Occupy Vancouver, the kidnapping at Occupy Cleveland, and sexual predator/Seattle Occupier who was busted for exposing himself to kids at Seattle’s classy occupation. This is what “hope and change” looks like when you flesh it out, when you take it out of the leftist playbook and apply it to the real world.

      Our Organizer-in-Chief has really outdone himself this time. Welcome to Obama’s America.  

      • Batman

        Babak is a beloved professor and the author of this article, Barak is our president, try and not confuse them. 

      • Anonymous

        how many types of drugs are you on right now good sir?

      • Rather inadvertent statements, might you say dear libsrclowns?  i think i counted at least 20 “rush’isms”, as well as many, many “beck’isms”.
        spot on dear sir, spot on. lol (in a very twisted and obviously intoxicated state of affairs…). i must also add that if you endure too much Fox News Network, your palms will go hairy.

        • GU3$7

          Yeah because it is only acceptable to parrot left-wing talking points amirite?

      • TrollBama

        Obama this, Obama that, and all w/o any evidence
        !
        HAHAHAHAHAHA TROLL AND NOTHING MORE!!!!

        Obama IS A PIECE OF SHIT – but NOT for the “REASONS” YOU have MADE UP.
        Obama secrecy/transparency:
        http://www.salon.com/2010/04/15/prosecutions_10/
        Obama Kills Dem Party Values:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jul/21/barack-obama-social-security-cuts
        Obama AG won’t prosecute obvious bankster fraud:
        http://www.businessinsider.com/study-number-of-federally-prosecuted-cases-for-financial-fraud-has-fallen-drastically-2011-11
        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/bill-black-the-high-price-of-ignorance.html
        Obama Hit List, Kill Citizens w/o Trial!
        http://reason.com/blog/2011/11/15/presidential-arbitrary-power-to-kill-a-b
        Obama’s Deal w/Big Pharma,
        medicare won’t use purchasing power to negotiate drugs prices for 80Bn/10yrs
        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/prescriptions/2009/08/obamas_biggest_health_reform_blunder.html
        WH/Pharma Deal Kills Public Option:
        http://seekingalpha.com/article/189164-anatomy-of-the-white-house-s-big-pharma-healthcare-deal

        • Come On Bro

          Obama is a piece of shit because he’s a horrible President.
           

      • Venom for the rich?  What are you smoking.  The only people bailed out by Obama were the rich.  Obama has bent over backward to deliver to the Wall St, the Health Care lobbies, and the war machine.  Yet the ilks of you would have us vote instead for the godfather of Obamacare – Mitt Romney.  Who’s contribution to our welfare is “Corporations are people, too, my friend.”

      • Logic

         Oh wow, so should we say that fox news, or the republican party in general, is responsible for these teabagging fascists beating up women on camera and posting it on the internet?  Just because thugs and criminals take advantage of a peaceful protest in order to break the law doesn’t mean the protestors are responsible for them.  It is akin to saying that if someone in your office complex goes crazy and kills a bunch of people, you or the company are responsible as you let it happen.  There is no way to ensure that everyone at a large gathering is going to obey the law as much as you would like it to be true.  Its not as though the Occupy movement is being supported by law enforcement.  And please tell me how anything happening in Canada is our President’s responsibility.  Also explain to me why these people are even protesting if Obama somehow organized this protest.  Occupy is protesting the administration for the things they promised and haven’t done.  Things like increasing transparity, closing gitmo, bringing us a public healthcare option, and holding those who destroyed our economy responsible rather than giving them rediculious “rewards” for gambling with our futures (and who have NEVER admitted that they screwed up or thanked the general public for bailing them out).

        Also, how dare you call Babak an idiot.  You obviously don’t know the man or his work.  How would one get a PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and subsequently be hired to teach at MIT and then Berkeley if they are an idiot.  He is a brilliant man and one of the greatest lecturer’s at this or any university.