Monday, November 21, 2011

UCSB Faculty Letter to Chancellor Yang on UC Davis Police Violence

Recent acts of police violence at UC Berkeley and UC Davis have left us disheartened and angry.   In video footage of the November 9 police attacks at Berkeley, we see non-violent students and faculty beaten by truncheons.  These students and faculty were hoping to improve access to education at their university; in return for this noble work, they were assaulted – on their own campus – by police officers in riot gear.  The non-violent student protest at Davis was suppressed with comparable brutality on November 18.  In video from Davis, we can see police in riot gear using pepper spray against non-violent student protestors who had the courage to stand in solidarity with the men and women who had been beaten at Berkeley the week before.  Accounts from police attacks at Davis are harrowing where they detail the chemical burns and respiratory bleeding that are the hallmark of pepper spray.

We, the undersigned faculty, refuse to accept these acts of brutality against non-violent protestors at our sister campuses in the University of California system.  Consequently, we call upon Chancellor Yang to make a public statement on our behalf.

First, we call upon Chancellor Yang to denounce unequivocally the recent acts of police violence at Berkeley and Davis.  Chancellor Yang is our representative to the UC system, and we hope that he uses this position to make our anger heard.

Second, we call upon Chancellor Yang to declare that the violence we’ve seen on other UC campuses will not happen here.  We call upon Chancellor Yang to declare that UCSB will never condone the use of police violence – including the use of pepper spray – against non-violent protests by members of our community.  We call upon Chancellor Yang to make this statement into policy.

Chancellor Yang has a long record of protecting students and faculty at UCSB; we hope that he continues to be our strong advocate.

Sincerely,

Porter Abbot (English)

Linda Adler-Kassner (Writing Program)

Kevin Anderson (Sociology)

Stephanie Batiste (English)

Eileen Boris (Feminst Studies)

Maurizia Bocagli (English)

Julie Carlson (English)

Brian Donnelly (English)

Enda Duffy (English)

Richard Flacks (Sociology)

Claudio Fogu (French and Italian Studies)

John Foran (Sociology)

Aranye Fradenburg (English)

Patricia Fumerton (English)

Nancy Gallagher (History)

Catherine Gautier (Geography)

Bishnupriya Ghosh (English)

Andrew Griffin (English)

Peter Lackner (Theater and Dance)

Stephanie Lemenager (English)

Shirley Lim (English)

Alan Liu (English)

Christina McMahon (Theater and Dance)

Laurie Monahan (History of Art and Architecture)

Chris Newfield (English)

Michael O’Connell (English)

Carole Paul (Art History)

Russell Samolsky (English)

Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies)

Scott Selisker (English)

Teresa Shewry (English)

Sven Spieker (Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies)

Vera Tobin (English)

Candace Waid (English)

Elisabeth Weber (German and Comparative Literature)

Howard Winant (Sociology)

Richard Wittman (History of Art and Architecture)

Kay Young (English)