Three pepper-sprayed south of UC Berkeley campus following protest

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Three people were pepper sprayed south of the UC Berkeley campus Saturday afternoon after a pro-Palestine protest staged in an intersection drew pro-Israel supporters, according to police.

According to Berkeley Police Department Lt. Dave Frankel, a group of about 10 pro-Palestine demonstrators protesting Israeli occupation momentarily took over the intersection of Telegraph and Durant avenues so that they could chant and wave pro-Palestine signs Saturday afternoon.

Two Israel supporters apparently had foreknowledge of the event and showed up at the intersection with pepper spray and began videotaping the protests and shouting counter chants, according to Frankel. One of the pro-Israel supporters also had a stun gun, Frankel said.

Then, three people not involved with either side of the protest tried to mediate the situation, at which point the pro-Israel protesters brandished the pepper spray and stun gun at the non-involved individuals, according to Frankel.

In response, one of the three who had originally tried to de-escalate the situation allegedly brandished a large stick at the pro-Israel supporters.

The two pro-Israel supporters then pepper sprayed the three non-involved individuals, according to Frankel.

According to Frankel, officers responded to the scene after the department received several reports at around 2:24 p.m. of someone being pepper sprayed there.

When the police arrived, the protesters had scattered but the pepper-sprayed victims identified the two who allegedly sprayed them and signed citizen’s arrest forms, Frankel said.  The pepper spray and stun gun were confiscated, and the two individuals accused of spraying were cited and released at the scene, according to Frankel.

According to Frankel, Berkeley Fire Department paramedics showed up at the scene and decontaminated the three who had been sprayed but did not transport them to the hospital.

Because neither the pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine supporters were pepper sprayed, the police department is not considering the incident a hate crime, Frankel said.

Sarah Burns is the assistant city news editor.

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  • Seamus

    For the record  a youtube of the event is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfwgw2uoRF0  ( I recognize Prof. Andrew Gutierrez  blocking the street, but i dont think most of these people are associated with Cal. ) The  whole thing seems like a fraternity hazing – its completely bizarre.     The so- called “mediator” seems unhinged and approches the group with a huge club screaming “Get the F**K out of here”.  Nice and peaceful.  It might have been helpful to actually look at this before writting such a biased story.

  • Outofvagina222

    Pro-Likud fanatics dont belong in America anyway considering the Mossad is responsible for 9-11.  They have the US fooled but God has everyones number & they wont get away with it.

  • Gordong

    Why dd these people think that blocking a busy street in Berkeley was a way to garnish support for the Palestinians? what were they thinking? Maybe the alleged attack wasn’t even political. maybe it was road rage.

  • Rob

    Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be annointed with pepper spray.

    • David H.

       that was hilarious!

  • http://twitter.com/huffpomonitor Matt

    I wonder where they learned such behavior from? Oh wait:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odis2hxwJYw&feature=related 

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    Palesimians? Yeah… somebody using that slur is truly a non-biased, non-prejudiced individual.

    Want to be taken seriously? Want your arguments to not be completely discredited? Try toning down the bigotry just a notch. M’kay?

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      What makes you think I’m going to respect any koranimal from Paleswine?

  • Rog

    Dina Omar swears that she was hit by an Israeli supporter at the intersection.  At least until a video comes out and proves she’s a big fat liar.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      I’d like to see her take a lie detector test.

  • Keen observer

    Exactly how does a person “brandish a stick” in an attempt to ” de-escalate” a situation? Sounds to me like the three Pro-Israel types were assailed by a larger, more intimidating group and that nothing actually happened. There’s been a trend lately of the Israel Haters telling tall tales to the police lately alleging ” assaults”. Does the “Always Hate on Israel” cult, like ALL have the exact same play book and exact same talking points, is there like a central clearing house, or what?

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      The latter. It’s been shown that the Iranians are involved in both the Occupy movement and the BDS nonsense. And the communists.

  • Princeofgloom

    Didnt they find a pro-Israel activist   dead  in an elevator shaft in a building where he studied Arabic a few years back?   What were you saying about a pattern?

    • Uncleradu

       I was taking classes in that same building and that elevator had been kind of wonky.  SF Police fully investigated the incident and determined that it was an accident.

      • Gordong

        You trust the San Francisco Police Dept? Don’t they have a 25% homicide solve rate?

  • BerkeleyBear

    I’m so glad that Berkeley has roaming gangs of peacemakers with sticks who have absolutely no opinion on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

  • Jim

    There is a pattern here. http://tinyurl.com/spraypepper  It seems that defenders of Israeli policies that drive Palestinians from their homeland are increasingly using violence in the US against all those who might dissent.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Unlike the Palesimians and their penchant for violence, eh?

    • Guest

      Hey, there have been swastikas graffitied around campus in recent years, moron,  And then there was that incident with an SJP student shoving a shopping cart into a female Tikva activist.  Then you have this situation where Israel supporters were prepared to defend themselves and actually DID when so-called “mediators” git involved (and you don’t really know what the fuck happened).    Just ’cause we’re not seeing antisemitism in the form of goose-stepping Germans doesn’t mean Jews can’t be bullied today as they were years ago.     Now I’m not Jewish, but I’m not going to let history repeat itself, so if I see what looks like modern day Naziism I’ll mace a motherfucker in the face WITHOUT HESITATION.  Feel me?  No.  Oh well. 

      • Sol Rosenberg

         well said!

      • Guest

        So violence against one people (here defined perilously close to a “race” of people, seeing as the state of Palestine is not even officially recognized by many international organizations or even the US) is justified in the name of precluding the possibility of violence against another? By your logic, why is one form of hate ok but the other is not? If your answer is something like “they deserve it,” you really have no idea what is happening in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. 

        • Guest

          I’m just saying I’m not going to sit by and watch Jews be bullied.  I’m not even going to watch it slowly begin to escalate, as has happened in recent history.  Got a problem with that?  Well, you might want to look into whether or not you’ve got seeds of evil germinating within you.  Your head is probably too twisted to see things clearly.  

  • Guest

    Eh, why do we even have the police? Let’s just let people defend themselves with pepper spray and stun guns!

  • Raul Montoya

    CASAS professor  Andrew Paul Gutierrez  was there, interupting traffic.  He is no stranger to anti-Israel  events.  He protested the  talk at Boalt (Israel through the High Tech lens), and he was also infamously  taped heckling a rally against anti-Semitism on campus  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK4bZbMSCCY

  • Jim

    We should ponder the fact that it was the anti-Palestinian fanatics that were cited in this incident, and we hope they will have to answer for their actions in court. 

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      Unlike the Palesimians and their dhimmi supporters who illegally blocked traffic?

      • Atlas Sobbed

        If you’re interested in illegal traffic blocks, you should spend a week in the West Bank and be subjected to checkpoint after illegitimate checkpoint like the Palestinians are.

        I’d be the last person on the planet to defend radical Islam, or religion in general, but just because someone’s beliefs don’t make sense to me doesn’t mean I by default have an argument to deprive them of basic human rights–like, for instance, innocent until proven guilty.

        We won’t ever be able to really know what happened in this case. But we do know that the pro-Israel groups brought weapons: they were looking for a confrontation.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          Speaking of the Palesimians and the West Bank, how about you try driving around over there?

          I’m sure they’ll give you a welcome as warm as this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg1Gv7WjSkM

  • Jim

    The protest was calling attention to a Street in Occupied West Bank that is off-limits to the Palestinian population. See this story from the Israeli human rights organization Btselem http://www.btselem.org/hebron  the antics of those supporting Israeli policy make me wonder if they were hired to make Israel look bad… but nah… it’s just that they are incredibly stupid… and violent.

    • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

      The last I looked the West Bank was occupied – by Palesimians. Time to boot them out and send them back to Soddy Barbaria.

  • University Of Fail

    not a hate crime, but definitely an assault,
    you can’t be out in public indiscriminately pepper-spraying people,
    hell, you can’t be out in public pepper-spraying people in a targeted way unless those people have attacked you or represent a true, immediate threat to your safety.

    this is the kind of shit that makes Cal the laughing stock of universities in the US,
    whether done by some numb-nuts protestor, or done by some meat-head cop,
    the result is the same: LAUGHINGSTOCK.

    is it April fools day up in this piece? no.
    then this comment board deserves all the trolling it gets from this shit.

    • Guest

      Well, when people read the part about the mediators brandishing sticks they’ll know why the pro-Israel group was prepared with stung guns and pepper spray, which are standard self-defense items.  

      And I think popular opinion sinks much further of this university when a rash of swastika graffiti goes up on campus.  

      The university doesn’t fail.  You do.  

  • Anna

    Typical Palestinians, taking over a busy  intersection and making life hard for everyone not involved in their little  issue.
    Tell you this- if they were so innocent, why’d they scatter like roaches at the first sign of trouble? 

    • reztips

      A respected nationwide poll showed Israel to be the 8th most respected society by Americans with about an 82% favorable rating. On the other hand, the Palestinians were near the bottom of the list with an 18% favorable rating. Even in Berserkeley, blocking traffic at a major intersection is not going to win the Palestinians many friends. But nobody has ever accused the Palestinians of being particularly bright…

  • Student

    It should read “alleged Israeli occupation”

  • Guest

    is it legal to carry a stun gun ?

    • University Of Fail

       good question, not sure, probably depends on the definition of ‘stun-gun’,
      as always the precise wording of the law is crucial,
      a great resource is in the link, here’s what the state of CA has to say
      (A total of 58 code section group(s) were found and are presented in
      an order that reflects the number of occurrences of the keywords “stun gun”.)
      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=pen&codebody=stun+gun&hits=All

  • Student

    Lol at Israel supporters attacking mediators…why am I not surprised?

    • Guest

      Yeah, totally non-biased mediators brandishing sticks.  No one buys that shit.  Sounds like Israel-supporters standing up for themselves in the face of rabid pro-Palestinian radicals.  Yeah, right, those peaceful, innocent mediators.    Hey, I hear the propaganda factory is hiring, and they want YOU!

      • Student

        “Then, three people not involved with either sides of the protest tried to mediate the situation, at which point one of the pro-Israel protesters allegedly brandished the pepper spray and a stun gun at the non-involved individuals.
        In response, one of the three who had originally tried to deescalate the protests brandished a stick at the pro-Israel supporters, Frankel said. The two pro-Israel supporters then pepper sprayed the three non-involved individuals, according to Frankel.”
        Are we reading the same article? Remember, these are facts straight from the police.
        And I find it ironic that someone accusing me of “propaganda” uses the terms “rabid” and “radical.” Who’s the real propagandist here?

        • Guest

          Yeah, we’re reading the same article.  The “mediators” respond by brandishing a stick. You obviously have picked your side.  You’re just so caught up in your own twisted logic you can’t see what’s going on here, and wind up looking stupid.  

          • Ra

            @student dont trip, this dude is missing it

          • David H.

             i’ll let you know when the police dismiss the charges.

          • David H.

             rest assured the events as covered by this article have some glaring inaccuracies and are based on statements given to the police by the pro-palestinian side and the stick wielding “mediator”. one of the pro-Israel guys was a  man in his mid 60s and the other was handling a video camera. hardly the sort of guys who would go and pick a fight with numerous pro-palestinian advocates. in berkeley no less.

          • Waiting for Assault Charges

            Unless of course they were armed with a stun gun and pepper spray and no one from the demonstration was.  Yeah they totally didn’t go looking for a fight COMING TO THE DEMONSTRATION ARMED.  haha You’re such and idiot David, no one buys your bullshit rhetoric.  

          • Berkeley student

            pretty sure you’re the only person who “winds up looking stupid” 
            GUEST.

        • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

          A stun gun? Or a video camera?

      • Guest

        Yeah, I have no idea whether the “mediators” deserved it, but I would bet a lot of money that they were not unbiased.  Most likely they were a bunch of passers-by, not affiliated with the protest, but just as anti-Israel as the palestinians.

      • Uncleradu

         “Brandishing sticks?”  The article only mentions the sticks after the would-be mediators were attacked.  For all we can tell they may have been walking sticks, or being carried for some other purpose; or found on the spot in a scramble for self-defense.   Or were you actually there?  Did you see how that happened?   The fact that the zionists were carrying pepper spray and at least one stun gun is evidence that they were expecting trouble.  Not too long ago a group of zionists crashed a meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace and pepper sprayed members of JVP, so there’s reason to suspect that they were more than expecting trouble, but eager to make some.

      • Berkeley student

        you’re a fucking idiot. 

      • berkeley student

        “rabid” pro-Palestinian radicals? you deem them such because they are waving flags and chanting? 
        you’re the one that sounds rabid, and dangerously ill-informed. 

      • berkeley student

        Slash the rabid ones sound like the Zionists with pepper spray and stun-guns, not the ones picking up STICKS to try and defend themselves don’t cha think?

  • Guest

    The analogy of Palestinian protestors being intimidated by weapon-weilding Pro-Israelis is just so ironic…