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Nouvelles de la contestation à l’Université de Berkeley-Californie - 10 novembre 2011

jeudi 10 novembre 2011, par Elie

Le 9 novembre avait lieu une manifestation des étudiants de l’Université de Berkeley contre l’augmentation prévue des droits d’inscription. Cette manifestation a été brutalement réprimée par la police. Voir une vidéo ici, quelques photos là, et les articles de presse ci-dessous. Le président de l’université de Berkeley fait un petit pas en direction des étudiants en annonçant des tentatives pour éviter l’augmentation massive des droits d’inscription. Ces derniers demandent sa démission.

Police arrest UC Berkeley students, professor over Occupy camp

Matt Krupnick,, 10 novembre 2011

BERKELEY — Moving quickly to quell a protest on the site where the Free Speech Movement was born, UC Berkeley police in riot gear on Wednesday tore down tents and arrested at least seven people who had established an Occupy Cal camp.

The violent clash was in stark contrast to peaceful speeches about protecting higher education from budget cuts and a short march that started the demonstration in front of Sproul Hall at noon. By 3:30 p.m., protesters linking arms were facing down lines of police officers as the Occupy group tried to protect a handful of tents that had been erected on a lawn in front of the building.

After warning protesters that camping at the university is illegal, officers moved in and shoved demonstrators out of the way as they pushed toward the camp. Six UC Berkeley students and an associate professor were arrested ; charges included resisting officers and failing to disperse.

"Stop beating students," the crowd chanted as officers subdued several people.

"He’s breaking my wrists," a man shouted before the police officer arresting him cut off his cries with a chokehold.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau had warned students in an email Monday that camping would not be tolerated. A police spokesman said overnight camping is illegal on any California campus.

"In these challenging times," Birgeneau wrote, "we simply cannot afford to spend our precious resources and, in particular, student tuition on costly and avoidable expenses associated with violence or vandalism."

Campers appeared headed to another showdown with police later Wednesday night. With organizers calling on others to bring more camping gear, tents immediately reappeared in the same spot after the arrests, and police once again warned protesters that camping was not allowed.

Pour lire la suite.

UC campus police move in on student protesters

Nanette Asimov,Justin Berton, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 novembre 2011.

Berkeley — Dozens of police in riot gear descended on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Wednesday in two violent confrontations with student protesters that prevented them from building an Occupy encampment on the campus.

Campus police arrested seven protesters during an afternoon altercation at the plaza after protesters set up three tents, which police promptly tore down.

By evening, protesters had once again erected tents - this time there were seven. Students joined arms and chanted "hold the line" and "the whole world is watching" while police approached with batons and bean-bag guns. After a brief scuffle, police broke through their line and pulled down the tents. Then officers formed a perimeter on the steps of Sproul Hall.

Andrew Snyder, 25, a graduate student, was locked in arms with fellow protesters when he said he was "crushed" by police as they pushed toward the tents. He said he was surprised the police acted forcefully twice in one day.

"Police don’t usually act violently the first day of a camp going up," he said. "This just shows us how afraid they are of the Occupy movement."

The protesters were among thousands of students, faculty and Occupy activists participating in a statewide protest that marked the first banding of the Occupy movement with students against the financial handling of the state’s higher education system.

Students had voted to set up an encampment in defiance of university orders, and as soon as they had the first tents up, baton-wielding police moved in on them.

"Put the guns down !" shouted students who had linked arms as police shoved and swung batons, whacking anyone who stood between them and the impromptu encampment outside the administration building.

"It really, really hurt - I got the wind knocked out of me," said doctoral student Shane Boyle, raising his shirt to reveal a red welt on his chest. "I was lucky I only got hit twice."

Six UC Berkeley students and one faculty member, English Professor Celeste Langan, were arrested for resisting and delaying police officers, said Lt. Alex Yao of the UC Berkeley Police, which got help from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and other UC police.

Pour lire la suite.

Students marching against tuition fees met with ’total policing’ tactics

Alexandra Topping and Shiv Malik, The Guardian, 9 novembre 2011

Large areas of city blocked off as 4,000 officers police largely peaceful protest but Trafalgar Square camp quickly cleared

Thousands of students and demonstrators marched through London to protest against tuition fees and the "privatisation" of the higher education systemon Wednesday, flanked by a huge police presence determined to ensure the violent scenes that erupted last year were not repeated.

Fulfilling their promise of "total policing", 4,000 officers took to the streets as Metropolitan police commanders blocked off large areas of the capital, bringing in dozens of mounted officers and blocking off roads with 10ft high barricades.

Protesters from the Occupy movement – which has been at St Paul’s Cathedral since mid-October – set up camp in Trafalgar Square with the aim of remaining until the mass strike of 30 November. They were quickly moved on by police, who also announced "additional conditions" for the march after it had begun.

A group of 50 protesters who set up about 30 "pop-up" tents refused to leave and were arrested for contravening the Public Order Act, according to the police.

Minor clashes broke out during the march but highly organised police units acted immediately to disrupt the snaking line of protesters and block off areas of trouble.

Despite 24 arrests and intermittent attacks on police with bottles and pieces of wood the protest was largely peaceful. Last year, 153 arrests were made when protests spiralled out of control after a fringe group of protesters hurled missiles at police and occupied the building housing Conservative party headquarters, after up to 50,000 took to the streets.

Pour lire la suite.

UC to seek state funds to avoid tuition hike next year

Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 9 novembre 2011.

A new proposal by President Mark G. Yudof would seek a $411-million hike in state funding for the 2012-13 academic year while adding courses and hiring professors.

Shifting tactics in a difficult budget situation, University of California President Mark G. Yudof said Tuesday that he would seek enough additional state funding to avoid a tuition hike next year and increase enrollment by 1%, or about 2,100 students.

Yudof’s statement was a tactical retreat from a controversial plan floated in September in which UC said tuition could rise 8% to 16% annually over the next four years if state funding did not increase enough to offset increasing costs. Reaction from students and families in September was vociferously negative, and UC regents shelved the idea, at least for now.

On Tuesday, the UC leader focused on a new proposal to seek a state funding increase of $411 million, or 8%, for the 10-campus system in the 2012-13 academic year. He acknowledged, though, that persuading the state to appropriate nearly $2.8 billion in total funding for UC may be difficult given the continuing recession.

If the funding comes through, Yudof pledged not to raise tuition next school year, to add course sections and professors across UC, to increase enrollment and extend library hours. "And we would throw a large pizza party," he added lightheartedly.

But he declined to specify the effect on tuition if the Legislature and governor give UC less than the proposal, although he said UC’s regents would consider more modest tuition hikes.

The regents are scheduled to vote on the budget request at a meeting in San Francisco next week. Yudof acknowledged Tuesday that his earlier proposal, aimed at warning the public and the regents about unstable state funding for the university, had provoked significant anxiety.

"I was trying to get them concerned about where we are heading. And I got them a lot concerned," he said.

Pour lire la suite.

An Open Letter to the Administration of the University of California Berkeley

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor Breslauer, and Vice Chancellor LeGrande,

You should all resign—now.

On Tuesday, you sent a message to students informing us that we would not be allowed to set up encampments or occupy campus buildings. You quoted a passage from the student code of conduct that prohibits “[a]ny activities such as pulling fire alarms, occupying buildings, setting up encampments, graffiti, or other destructive actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to conduct regular activities—go to class, study, carry out their research etc.” In this same message, you claimed that UC Berkeley shares “many of the highest principles associated with the OWS movement” and aims to provide “a model of the right to free speech, assembly and activism.

We could not agree with you more : UC Berkeley does share the principles of the OWS movement. In fact, we were instrumental in sparking the wave of occupations—yes, occupations—that is now sweeping the globe. Recall November 20th, 2009 : the students who occupied Wheeler Hall that day were not fringe radicals or outsiders, they were students who cared so deeply about the university that they were willing to be dragged away in handcuffs for it. They spoke for all of us, and now we are answering back. The model of activism you refer to : it’s us. We’re all occupiers now. Don’t patronize us, then, by telling us how we ought to behave. Time and again, our protests have been met with batons and guns and admin-speak about “protecting us” and obeying the “limits of protest.” After three years of brutality, we now know exactly who is being protected, and from what.

Yesterday, the police force you sent to disperse us beat and maimed several dozen students, faculty, and staff. When UCPD requested reciprocal aid, they were reinforced by OPD and the Alameda County Sheriffs Department—the same officers who shot a young Iraq veteran in the head with a tear-gas canister last week at Occupy Oakland, in violation of their own rules of engagement. He still has not regained the ability to speak. This is how you would protect us : with blood and fear. We are appalled, but not surprised, that your police beat an English Department graduate student so badly yesterday that he was rushed into urgent care. This is how you would uphold the legacy of the free speech movement. Let us remind you : we are the free speech movement. We are speaking, and you are beating us to the ground.
About the “regular activities” of students at UC Berkeley : we do not agree that these activities can be limited to going to class, studying, and doing research. First, because this school is the center of our lives, which are richer and more meaningful than is allowed for by the student code of conduct.

Second, because there can be no “regular activity” in a time of crisis. We are not blind to the world ; we know that it is falling apart, torn to shreds by the profit-hungry elite of the the 1%. We know that you have been tasked with operating the university in crisis mode ; we know this means ensuring that the 1% do not lose their financial stake in the university and its affiliate industries—the student loan racket, for example. We see right through you. It is you, on the other hand, who mistake our purposes : when we occupy buildings and set up encampments, these are our regular activities. The only people interfering with the business of the university are the police ; for that, they should be banned from campus permanently and immediately.

You describe UC Berkeley as “a place where the best and brightest youth, staff and faculty from all socioeconomic backgrounds work collectively to solve world problems.” We wholeheartedly agree. However, by this definition, it is you who have violated the code of conduct ; you are the ones who should be driven out of Sproul Plaza, not us. Make no mistake : there can be no “regular activity” when a militarized police force is allowed to brutalize students with impunity, nor can there be any peace so long as you remain at the helm of the university. Take a lesson from history (Egypt, for example) and step down now.

Signed, The Students of the University of California Berkeley