UC President Mark Yudof “Appalled” by Images of Pepper-Sprayed Students – “Full and Unfettered” Discussion Coming

Here’s the latest on that UC Davis pepper spray incident:

President Yudof acts in response to campus protest issues

Date: 2011-11-20
UC Office of the President

University of California President Mark G. Yudof today (Sunday, Nov. 20) announced the actions he is taking in response to recent campus protest issues:

I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

I intend to do everything in my power as President of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest.

Chancellors at the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses already have initiated reviews of incidents that occurred on their campuses. I applaud this rapid response and eagerly await the results.

The University of California, however, is a single university with 10 campuses, and the incidents in recent days cry out for a system-wide response.

Therefore I will be taking immediate steps to set that response in motion.

I intend to convene all 10 chancellors, either in person or by telephone, to engage in a full and unfettered discussion about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest.

To that end, I will be asking the Chancellors to forward to me at once all relevant protocols and policies already in place on their individual campuses, as well as those that apply to the engagement of non-campus police agencies through mutual aid agreements.

Further, I already have taken steps to assemble experts and stake-holders to conduct a thorough, far-reaching and urgent assessment of campus police procedures involving use of force, including post-incident review processes.

My intention is not to micromanage our campus police forces. The sworn officers who serve on our campuses are professionals dedicated to the protection of the UC community.

Nor do I wish to micromanage the chancellors. They are the leaders of our campuses and they have my full trust and confidence.

Nonetheless, the recent incidents make clear the time has come to take strong action to recommit to the ideal of peaceful protest.

As I have said before, free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and non-violent protest has long been central to our history. It is a value we must protect with vigilance. I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and lawful fashion. I expect campus authorities to honor that right.”

This guy, on the left:

Click to expand

And that postponed Regent’s meeting has been rescheduled:

Postponed regents meeting now set for Nov. 28
Date: 2011-11-18
UC Office of the President

OAKLAND — The University of California Board of Regents meeting, postponed this week because of public safety concerns, has been rescheduled for Monday, Nov. 28.

The time for public comment, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., will be expanded from the usual 20 minutes to a full hour with regents, UC staff and members of the public in attendance on four campuses — UC San Francisco-Mission Bay, UCLA, UC Davis and UC Merced. The sites will be connected to each other via teleconference. The public notice of the meeting, where they will take place on campuses and the agenda are available at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov28.html.

Those interested in the proceedings of the Nov. 28 meeting but unable to attend in person may listen online at http://california.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2.

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5 Responses to “UC President Mark Yudof “Appalled” by Images of Pepper-Sprayed Students – “Full and Unfettered” Discussion Coming”

  1. Dave D. says:

    ..They were told to leave and given time to do so. Some did, some did not. They were warned they would be pepper sprayed if they didn’t leave. Those that refused were sprayed and arrested.
    …Do demonstrators have a right, or a privilege, to remain on somebody elses property when told to leave ?
    ..Does someone have a right to stay on your property when you tell tham to leave, and they refuse ? If you call the cops, do they just walk away and leave them on your property ? I think if they do so, it’s not really your property.
    ..I’ve been pepper sprayed and it hurts like hell. The old way was to smack ‘em with sticks until they left. I’ve been smacked and it hurts like hell and leaves an injury. I’d rather be sprayed, but then, I’d rather comply and leave and not be smacked or sprayed.

  2. Scott B. says:

    Dave, you missed the point. Yes, protestors are absolutely subject to arrest when they don’t comply with lawful orders given by a police officer. But failure to comply does not justify the use of weapons like pepper spray, batons, tear gas, tasers, etc. Weapons should only be used when necessary to ensure the immediate safety of the officers or the public, not to punish or disperse nonviolent protestors!

  3. Milan Moravec says:

    Campus police report to Chancellors: Condem Chancellors not police. Every qualified California student should get a place in University of California(UC) system. That’s a desirable goal for a public university. However, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau displaces Californians qualified for education at Cal. with $50,600 tuition Foreigners.
    Paying more is not a better education. UC tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increase. The UC Board Of Regents jeopardizes Californians attending higher education by making UC the most expensive public university.
    Self-serving tuition increases are used by UC President Mark Yudof to increase the pay of 80,000 eligible faculty & others. Payoffs like these point to higher operating costs and still higher tuition for Californians. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income! UC is hijacking our kids’ futures: student debt.
    I agree that faculty in higher education and senior management, like Yudof and Birgeneau, should consider the students’ welfare & put it high on their values.
    Deeds unfortunately do not bear out the students’ welfare values of UC Berkeley Birgeneau’s senior management and the UC Board of Regents.
    Opinions to UC Board of Regents, email marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  4. Dave D. says:

    …I’ve arrested more than my share, Scott. Physical arrest of sitting, interlocked-arms demonstrators involves force, at least every time i did it. Not all resist, but about half do. While you are bent over twisting arms you get kicked and dragged down and knocked over. Then it’s tackle and force into the prone position forcing the arms back into the handcuffs. Injury is more common than not. The baton is used to push, pull, lever and block as well as hit.
    ..I’ve heard and read conflicting stories of why these folks were arrested, but watching the film it’s clear to me that they were told they were under arrest before being warned to submit or be sprayed. The demonstrators have a legal duty to submit to a lawful arrest but they refused.
    ..Pepper spray is a non lethal ( usually ) coercive tool to gain compliance. It does not appear that anyone was physically injured in the arrests that followed. Based on my experience, they would have been if they were wrestled into the ‘cuffs.

  5. Milan Moravec says:

    Deeds not words, apologies count: fire UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau. Discrimination against Californians by University of California Berkeley Chancellor. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) displaces Californians qualified for public university education at Cal. for a $50,600 payment by a foreign student.

    The need for transparency at UC Berkeley has never been so clear. UC Berkeley, # 70 Forbes ranking, is not increasing enrollment. Birgeneau accepts $50,600 foreign students at the EXPENSE of displaced qualified instate Californians (If amortization of fixed assets funded by Californians are included in foreign and out of state tuition calculations they would pay more than $100,000+ and would NOT subsidize instate tuition)

    UC Regent Chairwoman Lansing and President Yudof both agree to discriminate against Californians for the admission of foreigners. Birgeneau, Yudof, Lansing need to answer to Californians.

    Opinions make a difference; email UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu