UC Berkeley instructors condemn police violence

UC Berkeley instructors condemn police violence

A protester is brought to the ground by police in front of Sproul Hall.
David Herschorn/Staff
A protester is brought to the ground by police in front of Sproul Hall.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm
Updated Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm


Three UC Berkeley faculty members have written an open letter to the campus administration — which already has over 500 signatures — condemning the police’s use of violence at Wednesday’s protest. 

Julia Bryan-Wilson and Gregory Levine — both associate professors of history of art — and Peter Glazer, associate professor of theater, dance, and performance studies, penned the letter at the behest of a faculty caucus of approximately 45 teachers which met Thursday morning, according to an email from Bryan-Wilson. The letter, addressed to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, campus administrators and the UC Board of Regents, had garnered 517 signatures by 11:45 a.m. Saturday. (This number was still growing rapidly at the time of this post. Seventeen signatures were added to the letter in the 20 minutes it took to write this post.)


The letter, signed by professors, lecturers and graduate student instructors, first and foremost decries the violent tactics used by police at Wednesday’s protest, which the letter argues “sends a message to the world that UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and student protesters are regarded on their own campus with suspicion and hostility rather than treated as participants in civil society.”


“We call on the Berkeley administration to immediately put an end to these grotesquely out-scale police responses to peaceful protest. We insist that the administration abandon the premise that the rigid, armed enforcement of a campus regulation, in circumstances lacking any immediate threat to safety, justifies the precipitious use of force.”

— An excerpt from the letter


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