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Four Occupy Cal protesters ordered to stay away from campus

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Students and community members protest the stay away order issued to a number of protesters.


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MARCH 19, 2012

A judge issued stay-away orders Monday against four Occupy Cal protesters who were involved in the Nov. 9 demonstrations, barring them from setting foot on UC Berkeley property.

At an arraignment Monday morning, a judge ordered that Shane Boyle, Jasper Bernes, Juan Davalos and Erick Uribe not be allowed within 100 yards of any UC Berkeley property except for when attending class or other employments, according to Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick.

The Nov. 9 protests became contentious when demonstrators tried to set up tent encampments on Upper Sproul despite warnings from campus administration, leading police to use batons against the demonstrators to gain access to the tents and dismantle them.

The protesters arraigned Monday at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland — all of whom pled not guilty to the charges against them — are four of 13 who are being charged in relation to the Nov. 9 protests on campus. UC Berkeley associate professor of English Celeste Langan, the only faculty member charged, was arraigned Friday and was not issued a stay-away order.

Drenick said she could not say when the stay-away orders will expire but said that it would be determined during the ongoing litigation. The orders go into effect immediately.

Around 1 p.m. Monday, a handful of demonstrators blocked Sather Gate on the UC Berkeley campus to protest the charges and the stay-away orders.

After the arraignment, the defense said they were especially surprised by the order because UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau granted amnesty from the campus disciplinary process to those blocking police on Nov. 9.

Outside the courtroom, Boyle, a UC Berkeley graduate student, called on UC administrators to denounce the charges and the stay-away order immediately.

After hundreds of UC Berkeley faculty members signed a petition asking Birgeneau to request that the Alameda County District Attorney drop the charges against the protesters, Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer sent the district attorney a copy of the faculty petition but did not take a position on the matter.

The letter urged the district attorney to be “sensitive to the strong feelings (the criminal charges) have raised on campus.”

Bernes, also a campus graduate student, said the stay-away order was a “backhanded way of punishing protesters.” He added that the order “doesn’t allow people to express their rights” because it limits access to places that future demonstrations might occur.

BAMN lawyer Ronald Cruz said the order aims to “attack free speech and student efforts to defend public education.”

The defense plans to contest the stay-away order at the next hearing but will abide by it for now, according to Boyle.

The remaining eight protesters will be arraigned Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

“I live in a UC co-op that is on university property,” said Ricardo Gomez, who has also been charged and will be arraigned Wednesday. “Would I have to be evicted because I can’t stay on university property? It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Senior staff writer Soumya Karlamangla contributed to this report.

MARCH 20, 2012

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