Four Nov. 9 protesters issued criminal charges

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The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has issued criminal charges to four Nov. 9 protesters, documents show.

UC Berkeley students Ricardo Gomez, Zakary Habash and Ramon Quintero and associate English professor Celeste Langan face several charges, including resisting arrest and remaining at the scene of a riot, according to county criminal dockets.

In addition to the two charges the protesters have in common, they individually face other charges — including a charge against Habash for battery of a peace officer.

Quintero, who also faces charges for obstruction of a public place, said in an email that the UC Berkeley Police Review Board — which held meetings earlier this week to investigate police use of force during the protest — has ignored his complaints against UCPD in the past. He added that he had not been notified of the charges.

BAMN Attorney Ronald Cruz said that Yvette Felarca, a national organizer for BAMN, was also charged for “obstructing an officer and malicious blocking of a sidewalk or public thoroughfare” in a letter this weekend, though this has not been confirmed with the district attorney’s office.

Cruz said the charges were “outrageous” and “essentially the university backing up their police violence.”

However, campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore stressed that the charges are not under the purview of the campus.

“Chancellor Birgeneau announced in November that … the university would grant amnesty from Student Code of Conduct action,” she said in an email. “That commitment remains in place.”

Judith Butler, faculty advocate for the protesters and professor of rhetoric and comparative literature, said in an email that the campus administration should emulate UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who requested that criminal charges be dropped for those arrested during UC Davis November protests.

“It was an important step in recognizing that protest should be protected on campus, and should not be criminalized, especially when there is no harm to people or property,” Butler said in the email.

Langan will be arraigned at 9 a.m. on March 16 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. Gomez, Habash and Quintero will be arraigned at 9 a.m. on March 21 at the same location.

Geena Cova covers academics and administration.

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  • UC Berkeley student

    This is completely ridiculous.  As a witness to these events, these students and a faculty member were engaged in peaceful protest that only turned violent after provocation by the police.  Birgeneau should do all that he can to stop this destruction of free speech on campus, which he obviously has yet to do.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

       Bullshit.

  • Current student

    send them to san quentin

  • George123

    peace officers LOL

  • Orwellian Pantload

    so when a professor participates in civil disobedience, holds out her wrists to be hand-cuffed, but instead is grabbed by the hair and thrown to the ground by a cop — that is resisting arrest?

    well Chancellor Bob already called standing-still-arms-linked an act of aggression, so at this point nothing should be shocking.

    • Guest

      You’re obviously mischaracterizing the context and nature of events.  Sorry, I know you’d rather wrap yourself in a romantic struggle against a fascist police state, but I’m afraid life is a bit more boring than that.  Nice try. 

      • Guest

        Well, if by mischaracterizing the context you mean that he/she ignores that the protestors were blocking the way to the tents, therefore deserved to be batoned and charged, well then I would argue that you are mischaracterizing the context of events as well because you assume that blocking these tents deserves this type of force by the police officers. I agree that people tend to ignore the fact that protesters were obstructing confiscation of items that were not legally there, but you and other people also seem to ignore that the  conduct of the police officers is questionable.

  • Carlos

    Felarca in jail?  Oh happy day!   

  • UC faculty member

    Chancellor Birgeneau’s policy of police violence against non-violent protestors is working, at least until the university loses the police brutality lawsuits filed against it.  Good job, Bobby Birgeneau!

    • Stan De San Diego

      Lemme guess, the reason you’re not posting under your real name is that you don’t want to be known to your students as “that kooky prof”, right?

      • Atlas Sobbed

        “That kooky prof” for defending non-violent protesters? Sounds like you’re “that kooky student,” and not in a good way.

  • reztips

    Judith Butler is a horse’s ass. She was the major faculty figure supporting BDS and she sticks her filthy nose into whatever she believes will curry favor with the lunatic left on campus…

  • anon&on

    sounds like a good reason to have a protest

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  • Ghdh

    more stellar and thorough reporting daily cal. you missed a few people….

  • ASUC_SUCKS

    good

  • :*

    Geena is the best journalist ever. <3