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Update on Mideast-related events on campus on April 9, 2002
09 April 2002

Media Relations

Berkeley — Following noontime events on Sproul Plaza today that concluded without incident, a group supporting Palestine marched to Wheeler Hall and occupied the interior lobby, disrupting classes.

Student affairs officers and campus police warned the group that they were disrupting an academic building and would face arrest for trespassing if they did not leave. In addition, student protesters were told they could face student conduct charges, including possible suspension, if they did not leave the building. In all, 78 people were cited and released for misdemeanor trespassing, according to preliminary reports from UCPD. Of those, six were also cited for resisting arrest. In addition one protester bit a police officer and was taken to Berkeley city jail, where he was arrested for assault on an officer. Approximately 75 percent of those cited were UC Berkeley students, according to UCPD.

Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl said he was pleased that the two scheduled events held on Sproul Plaza at noon — a vigil for Holocaust victims and a rally in support of Palestine — were conducted in a civil manner. But, he said, he was disappointed by the later action that disrupted Wheeler Hall, among the largest classroom buildings on campus.

"As I said yesterday, it is our responsibility to protect the rights of all members of the campus community to pursue their reason for being here — the work of teaching, learning, and research — uninterrupted by anyone," said Berdahl.