Posted on April 11, 2012 by

Occupy UC Davis Antirepression Crew Media
oucd-antirepression-media@googlegroups.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

What: Call-In to Oppose Prosecution of the 12 UCD Protesters
Contact: Yolo County District Attorney at (530) 666-8180 or Fax: (530)666-8423
Support: Come to the Arraignment on Friday, April 27th, 8:30am at the Yolo County Superior Court, Dept. 9, 213, Third Street, Woodland, CA, 95695

11 UC DAVIS STUDENTS, PROFESSOR, CHARGED FOR U.S. BANK BLOCKADE

Accused May Face up to Eleven Years in Prison

Just months after UC Davis police pepper sprayed seated students in the face during a protest against university privatization and police brutality, Chancellor Linda Katehi’s administration is trying to send some of the same students to prison for their alleged role in protests that led to the closure of a US Bank branch on campus.

On 29 March, weeks after an anti-privatization action against US Bank ended with the closure of the bank’s campus branch, 11 UC Davis students and one professor received orders to appear at Yolo County Superior Court. District Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging campus protesters with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy. If convicted, the protesters could face up to 11 years each in prison, and $1 million in damages.

The charges were brought at the request of the UC Davis administration, which had recently received a termination letter from US Bank holding the university responsible for all costs, claiming they were “constructively evicted” because the university had not responded by arresting the “illegal gathering.” Protesters point out that the charges against them serve to position the university favorably in a potential litigation with US Bank.

Three of the protesters had received summons from UCD Student Judicial Affairs in mid-February, and it was only after US Bank announced that it had permanently closed its doors that the UCD administration requested that the DA bring criminal charges against the 12. Supporters argue that the university is targeting the dozen in order to limit its liability to US Bank and that the university is effectively using public funds (through the DA’s office) to protect a private corporation’s right to profit from increasingly indebted students at an increasingly expensive public university.

Among the 12 are some of the protesters pepper sprayed by campus police during the infamous November incident. But whereas the District Attorney declined to file charges against protesters then, this less publicized prosecution seems to be an attempt to punish the dissenting students, perhaps in retaliation for their pending ACLU lawsuit against the university. “We might not think of this as violence, because there aren’t broken bones or pepper spray or guns—it’s not as explicit—but sending someone to jail, holding them for a day, let alone 11 years, is violence,” said Andrew Higgins, a graduate student in History and representative of the UC graduate student union.

Supporters are requesting that the public contact the Yolo County District Attorney at (530) 666-8180 and voice their opposition to this prosecution. Supporters also request public attendance on the day of their arraignment, Friday, April 27th, 8:30am at the Yolo County Superior Court, Dept. 9, 213 Third Street, Woodland, CA, 95695. The website in support of the 12 accused is http://www.davisdozen.org.

UCD English professor Joshua Clover, one of 12 people facing misdemeanor charges for blockading the US Bank branch inside the Memorial Union, reads a prepared speech at a rally Thursday to protest the charges. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

via Press

UCD English professor Joshua Clover, one of 12 people facing misdemeanor charges for blockading the US Bank branch inside the Memorial Union, reads a prepared speech at a rally Thursday to protest the charges. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Speakers at a Thursday rally accused the UC Davis administration of taking revenge and trying to punish bank protesters out of the public eye in order to silence dissent.

“We will not be intimidated,” said Sophia Kamran, one of 11 students due to be arraigned April 27 for their role in a blockade that led U.S. Bank to close its campus branch and sever a deal with the university.

“That’s their goal (with) these retroactive measures, to intimidate us.”

The students and one professor face one count each of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, plus up to 20 counts of obstructing movement in a public place, a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail.

About 250 people listened to speakers outside the Memorial Union. Later, a march led to the lobby of the main administration building, Mrak Hall, where about 20 protesters remained inside at 6 p.m.

Speakers said the public outcry last fall over protesters being jabbed with batons at UC Berkeley and pepper-sprayed at UCD has forced administrators to change tactics.

Andrew Higgins, a graduate student in history and a representative of the UC-wide graduate student union, drew parallels to how police responded during a five-month strike 1968 and 1969 at then-San Francisco State College that resulted in the creation of that institution’s black studies program.

Students leaders there were singled out and arrested, causing some to drop out of the movement.

“I think of the words of (UC Irvine) Professor Rei Terada, who said that the administration is not likely to engage in ‘the type of violence that you can photograph,’ and that’s what we’re seeing right now,” Higgins said.

“We might not think of this as violence because there aren’t broken bones or pepper spray or guns — it’s not as explicit — but sending someone to jail, holding them for a day, let alone 11 years, is violence.”

The English professor facing charges for taking part in the blockade, Joshua Clover, called the charges “an overreach” and “a sign of panic” on the part of campus leaders.

He said UC administrators had rejected the notion that places of higher education were a “special place,” “autonomous from the logic of the billy clubs, the Bastille and the bottom line.”

Clover said the administration will continue to meet resistance for its “unfair, unjust and unnecessary” policies:

“Even the students and staff and faculty who are disinclined to protest, who just want a decent education, a decent job, don’t like the fee hikes, the furloughs, the firings, the for-profits and the fear-mongering — and especially the debt: the exact place of intersection, of collaboration, between the university and the bank.

“If a dozen of us all go down for 11 years, you all will still be paying off your debt to the bank and the university when we get out.”

The protesters, loosely affiliated with Occupy UC Davis, began holding daily sit-ins in front of the U.S. Bank branch in January, resulting in its staff closing up early day after day.

U.S. Bank notified its 2,500 campus account holders of the branch’s closure March 12. The bank’s 10-year deal, signed in 2009, was to have brought in upwards of $3 million for student services.

English professor Nathan Brown called the closure “a major victory” made possible by the police response to protests in the fall.

“The situation of the UC struggle had become such that it was possible for students to win …,” he said. “It was possible to actually materially defend public education against privatization by directly impeding the mechanisms of privatization.

“This is what the administration, above all, cannot afford. … They have to now take revenge, retroactively, upon protesters who have proved their capacity to win concrete victories.”

UCD spokesman Barry Shiller rejected that characterization. “This notion of retroactivity — it’s novel, but it’s not supported by the facts,” he said.

Campus officials met with demonstrators beginning Jan. 11, he said. They later provided notices about possible violations of the student code of conduct and the law.

“The idea that this was retroactive implies surprise or that this is some sort of ‘gotcha.’ That’s just not so,” Shiller said.

He added that had students spoken out at an outside rally, as they did Thursday, without “obstructing the rights of others,” they would not have run afoul of the law.

UCD and U.S. Bank remain in talks about the severing of the contract. Neither side has filed suit, despite accusing the other of violating terms of the agreement by failing to better deal with the protests.

“UC certainly prefers to avoid litigation at this point,” Shiller said. “We’d love to preserve the relationship.”

Via Press/April 6 2012

Several dozen UC Davis students are protesting the upcoming court date of the “Bankers’ Dozen,” the 12 students linked to demonstrations in January and February that shuttered an on-campus U.S. Bank branch.

About 400 students rallied Thursday afternoon at the university’s Memorial Union to speak out against allegations of conspiracy and blocking access filed against the dozen in late March by Yolo County prosecutors. The event was peaceful and no incidents were reported.

Students and supporters then marched across campus to Mrak Hall, chanting “Drop all charges,” occupying stairwells and the building’s lobby. Some students quickly set up tents and tarps planning to bed down for the night.

“We don’t know what might be planned,” university spokesman Barry Shiller said. “But, we’ll be patient, monitor the situation this evening and plan that the building will be open for business when people return in the morning.”

However, Claudia Morain, a campus spokesperson, said this morning that the students had been cleared out by 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The dozen protesters cited in March face an April 27 court date in Yolo Superior Court connected to blocking the entrance to the on-campus bank branch.

The conspiracy allegation carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. Each of the 20 access allegations filed carries a maximum six-month jail term.

Minnesota-based U.S. Bank closed its University Union branch Feb. 28, potentially severing an agreement with UC Davis that gave the campus its first bank branch.

Bank officials later cited Occupy protests and the university’s refusal to disperse demonstrators as reason for the closure.

Following strongly worded exchanges last month, UC Davis and U.S. Bank continue to work to repair their rift over the bank’s decision.

Shiller this week described the university’s talks with the lender as “cordial conversations.”

“We’d love the relationship to be salvaged,” Shiller said, adding that UC Davis students would lose out if the bank branch remained closed.

But students say the protests center on the bank’s presence on campus, its relationship with the university and what they see as the continuing privatization of the university.

Many students declined to identify themselves Thursday, afraid that university authorities would retaliate. But some carried placards that read “Fighting privatization is not a crime.”

Others, including history graduate student Andrew Higgins, said the university is using county prosecutors as cover to appease U.S. Bank, avoid a repeat of the public relations firestorm that erupted after last year’s pepper-spraying of UC Davis students by campus police, and to quash free speech.

“This administration is relying upon the state to deal with the protests. Because of the bad PR, they feel they can’t address that,” Higgins said.

UC Davis’ Shiller denied the assertions, saying the Thursday rally was “a great demonstration of protected, expressive free speech. Had the bank protest been similar, we’d have no issues here.”

The dozen, he said, “are accused of well beyond that.

via UC Chilling Effects

Last week, 12 students and professors were notified by the Yolo County District Attorney that they were being charged in relation to the blockade of an on-campus bank at UC Davis.  Protesters had blockaded the branch of US Bank in opposition to its exploitation of students at Davis, and the banking industry’s profit-taking through increasing student debt and rising tuition in general.  The protests were successful in getting the bank to close its doors and void its contract with UC Davis. Now, almost a month after the protests ended, these 12 are being charged with over 20 misdemeanor counts related to the blockades, and the Yolo County DA has indicated it might seek damages of up to $1 million dollars on behalf of the bank.

As the recipients of a similar set of belated charges from the Alameda County DA, brought against us in relations to the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley, when students tried to set up a small “Occupy” encampment there and were viciously beaten by the police, we want to extend our solidarity to the 12 protesters charged. We condemn this opportunism on the behalf of UC Davis police and administration. They are clearly using the Yolo County DA to accomplish repression which they feel they are unable to undertake on their own, after the widespread public outrage at their behavior last fall, when sitting protesters were serially and vindictively pepper-sprayed.  That incident, captured on video and viewed millions of times the world over, became an international symbol of the brutality of US police.

In a talk given last year, UC Irvine Professor Rei Terada reflected on the fallout from the UC Berkeley and UC Davis incidents by predicting that, in the immediate future, campuses were not likely to resort to “the kind of violence you can photograph.” The developments at Davis and Berkeley have proven her remarks uncannily prescient. Afraid of public outrage and its endangerment of their jobs, UC administrators and police departments have farmed out the job of repressing students to local prosecutors. This allows the campus administrators to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the charges, claiming such matters entirely outside of their jurisdiction, even though in all of these cases charges could not have been brought without the active encouragement and collaboration of campus police. And so we see that, at Berkeley, Chancellor Birgeneau claims that he knew nothing about the charges filed against UC Berkeley protesters, even though his police department had forwarded to the DA specific recommendations to charge all 13 people. Either Birgeneau is not telling the truth or UC police acted, in this matter, without his oversight. Both are evidence of incompetence. At Davis, Chancellor Katehi, who nearly lost her job after the pepper-spray incident, instructed her police department to avoid confrontation and let protesters continuously blockade the US Bank branch for close to eight weeks, without ever arresting any of them. But, wanting to have it both ways, her police then forwarded the cases to the Yolo County DA.

The last year has seen a remarkable flourishing of protest and resistance in this country. Hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity to experiment with new tactics and ideas. But this has also been a time of experiment and innovation for police forces and the courts, which have used the protests as a chance to deploy new weapons, and practice with new techniques of control and containment, as well as set new legal precedents which allow for greater repressive powers. This recent round of “jail-mail” might seem limited in scope but it sets the precedent for a future world where, based upon omnipresent surveillance, anybody who attends a protest might become the subject of a criminal complaint months or even years later.

We understand this development not as the exception to the rule but rather the confirmation of a general trend toward the continuous expansion of the powers of the state, where civil disobedience-style tactics which, in other times and other jurisdictions, might be treated as mere infractions are met with the threat of jail-time and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We hope that all sane people will stand with us in calling on the Yolo County DA to drop the charges.

written by several of those charged for the events of Nov. 9

Breaking News: Scene At Occupied Building Declared A Crime Scene By SFPD.

via Indy Bay

by D. Boyer

Monday Apr 2nd, 2012 9:18 AM

Breaking news: the Occupied building at 888 Turk street has been declared a crime scene by SFPD. Which means no one in and no one out. Occupiers are concerned about food. They are out of food. They have water. They are calling for support. Go to 888 Turk street.

 

 

by D. Boyer Monday Apr 2nd, 2012 9:18 AM

640_p83426.jpg original image ( 800×600)

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original image ( 800×600)

via Breaking News: Scene At Occupied Building Declared A Crime Scene By SFPD. : Indybay.

via Occupy Oakland.

The Sf commune is calling for an emergency march meeting at 10 AM, Noon, and 5 PM for a GA from The Civic Center to 888 Turk (Gough and Turk)! to the occupied SF Commune building.Come join us! bring food water and other useful things! Also if you can’t come you can call the Archdiocese of San Francisco at (415) 614-5500 and politely ask that they negotiate with us in person and that we claim SANCTUARY! That we are using this building to feed and house the homeless. That we are respecting the building. That there are children in the building. We are using it a social center to provide service to the public including free medical care!

via #OCCUPYSF.

Tonight Occupy SF, through the OccupySF Commune, has inhabited a vacant building onTurk St. for the purpose of creating a community center in the spirit of this building’s original intention–to create a center for health and healing.

In a city with ten thousand homeless people and thirty-two thousand vacant but habitable units, it is a crime against humanity that people are prevented from sleeping through the night as part of a political protest or as a basic human right. The city wants OccupySF and the homeless off the street–harassing, intimidating, and arresting us every night–so now we are inside creating a vibrant space for health, humanity, and free expression.

This building has been empty for five years and was previously a mental health clinic providing a valuable service to the community. Five years ago the Board of Supervisors cut the funding to this vital community center causing many people with mental illness to be put out on the street and become subject to arrest and harassment simply for now existing in these very same streets they were forced into. This funding cut was brought on by the international financial crisis caused by a corrupt banking system which profits off the backs of the 99%.

This Turk St. building is owned by the Church and the owners, therefore, pay no property tax for it. It has been vacant and unused for over five years and no services have been provided here. Further, the owners have failed to register the building as vacant, avoiding their duty to pay vacancy fees to the public coffers. The building is now occupied by a group of people willing to offer services such as food, housing, education, and community-building skills for free.

We assert our human rights to free expression, dissent, and 24-hour protest without undue harassment.

via reclaim UC

Criminal Charges To Be Filed Against UC Davis Bank Protesters

A little over than a week ago, the UC Davis Faculty Association circulated a petition in opposition to the decision of the UC Davis administration to forward information about its students involved in the highly successful US Bank protest to the District Attorney. The petition quotes from an official statement regarding the bank closure:

As of today (March 16), UC Davis police had forwarded six cases to the Yolo County district attorney’s office, recommending prosecution for violating Penal Code sections that make it a misdemeanor to ‘willfully and maliciously’ obstruct the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk or other public place, or to intentionally interfere with any lawful business.

Mike Cabral, assistant chief deputy district attorney, said March 15 that the district attorney’s office had not yet completed its review of the case files—and that a decision on whether to prosecute is likely to come Monday or Tuesday (March 19 or 20). If the decision is made to go forward, the district attorney’s office will notify the suspects by mail, ordering them to appear in court.

Today, we find that not six but 12 protesters will likely face criminal charges [Update: more from the Davis Vanguard here]:

Misdemeanor charges will likely be filed against 12 people connected to the on-campus U.S. Bank protests, according to an email circulated among UC Davis administration Thursday evening. The protests were part of an effort to get US Bank off campus, which is eventually what happened.

We have a call out to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and will update when we have more information. Here’s the email:

Yolo Co. D.A’s office public information rep has confirmed that misdemeanor charges have been filed against 12 individuals in connection with the U.S. Bank protests. Letters are in the mail.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s office has notified UC Davis that the D.A.’s office today mailed letters to 12 individuals, ordering them to appear for booking at the Yolo County Jail and then to appear at a later date for arraignment in Yolo County Superior Court on misdemeanor charges related to their alleged activities earlier this year at the U.S. Bank branch at UC Davis.

Starting in January of this year, these individuals frequently obstructed access to the bank branch, located in the Memorial Union at UC Davis. The bank chose to close during many of these events, and, in a recent letter to account holders, announced the campus branch to be “officially closed” as of Feb. 28.

As we’ve seen recently at UC Berkeley, with the filing of criminal charges as well as stay-away orders against a number of prominent student protesters, UC administrators willingly collaborate with the offices of their respective DAs. In order to do this, the administration sends UCPD to actively search out information (“evidence”) against student protesters, which is then forwarded to the DA. At times, this evidence has come from the medical records of students who had sought treatment at University Health Services after being assaulted by the police themselves.

What this means, it appears, is that the Office of Student Conduct (OSC), which from 2009-2011 was charged with the quasi-legal repression of student protesters, is being superseded, its work passed off to the criminal (justice) system proper. This move, of course, is part of a broader trend that is becoming apparent at universities across the country: the militarization of campus space and of university life at large.

(Above video from yesterday’s protest at the UC Regents’ meeting at UCSF Mission Bay. Police arrested three protesters.)

via reclaim UC: Criminal Charges To Be Filed Against UC Davis Bank Protesters.

March 27, 2012

 

Artist: Susie Cagle

The Oakland Police Department operations emails for J28 Move-In Day, in which Occupy Oakland attempted to take over the Kaiser Convention Center only to result in a mass arrest of 400 marchers, are now available.

We now know the following about their operation:

  • All of the emails were CCd to recipients at ICE and the US Coast Guard, both of which are sub-divisions of the Department of Homeland Security. These recipients are: ’tgmchugh@ice.dhs.gov’;  ’Jason.p.tama@uscg.mil’; ‘Kenneth. S. Kostecki@uscg.mil’; ‘ScottA.Garcia@uscg.mil’; ‘SectorSanf ranciscoCommandCenter@uscg.mil’; ‘Donald.P.Montoro@uscg.mil’ (see email recipient list on Page 1)
  • OPD were reading the Move-In Day action plan on the web (page 2)
  • OPD were aware of the plan to setup a Children’s Village and distributed an article about it by OO activist Tess Unger (page 4)
  • Twitter was being monitored for regular updates, not only on the OO action plan but for on the ground info and  to get a sense of what the marchers knew of the OPD plan (pages 6, 7). This also includes Twitter accounts of mainstream journalists such as Vivian Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle (page 10).
  • Live streams were monitored for on the ground details (page 12).
  • Evidence for future prosecution was collected from the live stream: “Multiple people on live steam commented that they can hear the dispersal order.” (page 13)
  • There are comments about “Internet chatter” which is distinct from specific quotes of Twitter comments. This suggests that emails or other online communication may have been monitored (page 14).
  • Other quotes from Twitter and live stream are quoted below:

“Live stream is telling people to get ready because the cops are putting on gas masks.” (page 15)

“Per Twitter: ‘Need all people at 11th and Madison #occupyoakland #oo#i28#moveinday’ (page 16)

“Chatter indicates that there are ‘B’ and ‘C’ locations but they are unknown to us now’” (page 16)

“Live streams that they are going to march agun at around 1700 hours” (page 17)

“Per Twitter: ‘@SabzBrach Joanne Michele #OO plan – meet at 14th and Broadway and occupy it, they’ll return to and occupy the plaza” (page 19)

  • There is no mention of the kettling and teargassing at 19th and Telegraph. However, there are these remarks (pages 21-22):

1753 hours – Officers reporting subject threw brick at them
1756 hours – Guy in yellow mask cutting fence
1800 hours – Announcements are being made and people will be allowed to leave in small groups’
1804 hours – email system is temporarily down. IT is working on it.
1821 hours – Front of group is E/B Zgm St approaching Broadway to SIB Broadway’
1823 hours – SIB Broadaway at27fr Street
1826 hours – S/B Broadw ay at 25h Street
1830 hours – Most of group is trapped in the 2300 BLK of Broadway.
1831 hours – Crowd rushing into YMCA
1832 hours – About 75 inside YMCA some are running out back.
1838 hours – 25 to 30 detained inside YMCA
1839 hours – Web based Outlook (email) is back up’

  • The above suggests that the action at 19th and Telegraph was not documented, possibly on purpose as it was most likely illegal and perhaps even a huge tactical error by OPD. The timeline is unclear, but presumably the kettling at 19th & Telegraph was around 6pm, dispersal orders were given but all hell broke loose once the teargas was unleashed. The crowd was forced to disperse itself by breaking through a fence, then the entire crowd was arrested at the YMCA. Why arrest was necessary at that point, and not earlier, is completely unclear.
  • OPD reports on the City Hall takeover (pages 24-25):

1925 hours – Protesters are setting the American Flag on fire at City Hall.

1925 hours – Protesters are tweetingthatthey are having a meeting inside City Hall io decide about
what to do there.

1926 hours – New posts say they are thinking about setting it on fire. Only one post so far.

1932 hours – Twitter is showing posts that OPD is low on manpower’

1940 hours – Protesters are tweeting that they are on a deck with chairs and police below. Unclear as to
the location

  • God knows what this is all about: “2202 hours Tweets are saying there are ‘badboys’ are in the rooftop elevator. This is associated with the pics of ProPane tanks (page 27)
  • OPD actually uses the offensive “lynching” terminology: “There are reports that they plan to lynch prisoners at 23rd and Broadway.” (page 28)

The full set of emails are below.
OPD Operations Emails Move-In Day 28 January 2012http://www.scribd.com/embeds/86830594/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list

 

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