In an outrageous and audacious move, last month UC Berkeley officials charged 13 individuals for their role in the now infamous November 9th protest, which showed campus police brazenly beating peaceful protestors.
The 13 individuals are accused of resisting arrest, battery of an officer, remaining at the scene of a riot, and obstructing a person’s free movement in a public space. Given the fact that the entire crowd of students, faculty, and concerned citizens were all doing the same, it’s shocking to see these 13 individuals singled out.
“It raises questions,” said Linda Lye, Northern California ACLU board member, in an interview with the Daily Cal. “People were charged with obstructing officers, but if you look at the video evidence, it seems like the whole crowd was doing that — so why were these individuals singled out?”
Ramon Quintero, one of the 13 accused, argued that the charges were politically motivated.
“One commonality between the 13 is that we are known organizers and activists,” Quintero said. “We organize students, and (the university doesn’t) want that. It’s a political witch hunt.”
“The people being charged are the people police were caught beating on videotape — this is retaliation, and the police and administration are trying to cover up their wrongdoing by trying to charge those of us who were victimized,” added Yvette Felarca, an organizer with BAMN and one of the 13 accused.
Adding further controversy to the announcement, campus officials charged the individuals after the protests by studying video footage to identify them. In addition, the campus health center reported to the police the identities of protestors who went to the center seeking medical treatment.
For more on the story, head over to the Daily Cal.