On March 1, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley sent criminal complaint and summons to eight (update: nine) participants in the protests on UC Berkeley’s campus on November 9th. For at least one of the eight, English Professor Celeste Langan, the charges were filed under California Penal Code Sections 148, covering Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Police Officer. Another of the indicted, Zachary Habash, is also accused of battery of a police officer. Reclaim UC has more information.
Those who have read a lot of LA noir, have read Langan’s account, and have seen video of the incident, including this clip of a police attack on the line of demonstrators, will appreciate the irony of the DA indicting Langan for being arrested by her hair. Those yet unappreciative can also read two analyses of the November 9 protests and the police response: one by Langan, and a second by Profs Judith Butler and Jonathan Simon. Graduate student Shane Boyle, who sustained a broken rib during the incident, has also been summoned.
This blog has posted a petition calling on UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to follow UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi in asking his county’s DA to withdraw these charges. The Berkeley Faculty Association has a petition for signing by members of the UC Berkeley community.
There is a picket planned for Monday at noon at California Hall on the Berkeley campus.
Posted by Chris Newfield