* SCFA Board letter to Chancellor Blumenthal, November 20, 2011

The SCFA Board sent the following letter to Chancellor Blumenthal on November 20, 2011 as a reaction to the outrageous police action which has occurred on other UC campuses.  The SCFA is the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Council of UC Faculty Associations, which published (cucfa.org) the statement that we attached to our letter – and which is reproduced on this page below our letter.  

Dear Chancellor Blumenthal Dear Provost EVC Galloway Dear Susan Gillman:

The Santa Cruz Faculty Association would like to bring to your attention the fact that the Council of University of California Faculty Associations, of which we are a member, is dismayed and alarmed at the police violence that has been used at several U.C. campuses against protesters –both faculty and students–whose grievances are real and whose rights to assembly and free speech have been violated. CUCFA has issued at statement, which is attached. Please read it.

We are glad no such violence against students and faculty has been used against UCSC students and faculty, and we commend the Chancellor and EVC for their handling, so far, of student rallies and public assemblies. At the same time, we are aware that various UCs have sent their police forces to other UCs to enforce police actions, and we would like to request that UCSC not allow or participate in such actions should they arise.

We also call upon the Chancellor and the Chair of the Senate to publicly oppose the use of any police violence against peaceful protesters on campus, and to oppose such violence as well at off-campus protests such as those directed toward the Regents and the Office of the President. We trust we all agree that civil discourse requires the practice of civility itself, and that violent response to non-violent protest undermines the commitment to reason and restraint in which all of us believe. Please join us in denouncing the violent response on our sister campuses and pledging to continue to keep our campus safe from the unseemly breaches of civil discourse we have witnessed elsewhere in recent days.

Cordially, Shelly Errington for the Executive Board SCFA

The Council of UC Faculty Associations Condemns Police Violence Against Non-Violent Protesters

This week, we have seen excessive force used against non-violent protesters at UC Berkeley, UCLA, CSU Long Beach, and UC Davis. Student, faculty and staff protesters have been pepper-sprayed directly in the eyes and mouth, beaten and shoved by batons, dragged by the arms while handcuffed, and submitted to other forms of excessive force. Protesters have been hospitalized because of injuries inflicted during these incidents. The violence was unprovoked, disproportional and excessive.

We are outraged by the excessive and unnecessary force used against peaceful protests.

We are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly.

We demand that the Chancellors of the University of California cease using police violence to repress non-violent political protests. We hold them responsible for the violence and believe it can only result in an escalation of outrage that holds the potential for even more violence.

Police brutality damages the University’s public image, and, more importantly, it damages the climate for free expression at UC. We condemn the assault on the legacy of free speech at the University of California.

We call for greater attention to the substantive issues that motivate the protests regarding the privatization of education. With massive cuts in state funding and rising tuition costs across the community college system, the Cal State network, K-12, and the University of California, public education is undergoing a severe divestment. Student debt has reached unprecedented levels as bank profits swell. We decry the growing privatization and tuition increases that have been the frequent — and only — responses of the UC Board of Regents.

Signed, The board of the Council of UC Faculty Associations

The above statement has been turned into a petition by Progressive Change. We encourage you to sign.