OAKLAND — During the arraignments of four protesters Tuesday, a judge barred the demonstrators who have been charged in connection with the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protests from all UC property.
The four who were issued stay-away orders Tuesday — Amanda Armstrong, Ashley Pinkerton, Justin Tombolesi and Yvette Felarca — join four other Occupy Cal demonstrators who were also issued similar orders at their arraignments Monday at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. A total of 13 protesters have been charged in relation to the Nov. 9 demonstrations at UC Berkeley.
Armstrong, Pinkerton and Tombolesi are all students at UC Berkeley, and Felarca is a teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, who said she frequently visits the campus with her students and organizes campus activities with activist group BAMN.
Although each defense attorney objected to the motion, Judge Paul Seeman barred the defendants from setting foot on UC property, except to fulfill class-related or employment duties — which includes walking to and from classes, attending class and teaching. Seeman declined to explain the reasoning behind the order, instead insisting that the defense and the district attorney’s office discuss the issue outside of the courtroom.
The four defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them, which include various counts like resisting arrest and obstruction of a public place.
It remains unclear exactly what is included as UC property, especially since some of the protesters live in co-ops on UC Berkeley property.
When the four protesters’ defense attorneys objected to the stay-away orders, citing the right to free speech, Seeman said the defendants are free to litigate the order during pretrial.
Jeff Wozniak, Armstrong’s attorney, said that he is looking into the history of the police officers who were involved in the Nov. 9 incident for patterns of aggression. He plans on obtaining information about the communications between officers from when they entered the encampment.
“We’re going to fight these (charges) going forward,” Wozniak said.
Of the 13 who have been charged, the four protesters who have not yet been arraigned will be arraigned Wednesday morning.
The pretrial for the four defendants will take place in April.