Berkeley Faculty Votes to Condemn Chancellor for Police Violence





Jon Wiener teaches history at UC Irvine and writes for the Nation magazine

The Berkeley Academic Senate voted 336 to 34 on Monday afternoon to “condemn” Chancellor Robert Birgeneau for his administration’s “authorization of violent responses to nonviolent protests over the past two years,” culminating in the police attack on nonviolent Occupy Cal demonstrators on Nov. 9. A million people have seen the YouTube video of that attack....

The resolution, co-authored by Wendy Brown, professor of political science, Judith Butler, professor of rhetoric and comparative literature, and Barrie Thorne, professor of sociology and of gender and women’s studies, originally had expressed "no confidence" in the chancellor, but some faculty members took that as a call for the chancellor’s resignation, which the authors did not seek. As a result, they deleted the call for “no confidence” and substituted the phrase about condemning the chancellor for the police attacks....

By the same 10-1 vote, the faculty also approved three other resolutions introduced originally as alternatives to the “no confidence” resolution. All criticized the Chancellor, but in different language. One, submitted by history professors David Hollinger and Tom Laqueur, expressed “greatly diminished confidence” in the chancellor; another, by Brian Barsky of Computer Sciences and Jonathan Simon of the Law School, laid out guidelines for campus police use of force....



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