I was part of the chain of people in front of a row of bushes on the night of Nov. 9. I was struck by batons in my arm and chest as the officers shouted “Move!” but I was literally trapped between my fellow students being beaten, the large bush, and the wall of Sproul Hall. Even though I was screaming “I CAN’T move!” the police kept trying to advance and hitting us with their batons. The other protestors were trying to pull me away from the police as the officers were repeatedly attempting to grab me while also striking me with batons. They were beating the arm of the man next to me because he was trying to pull me away. An officer yanked hard on my scarf three times to try to drag me away from the crowd, which had the effect of choking me. When that didn’t work, the officer grabbed my ponytail and dragged me by my hair over the bush, threw me face down on the ground, and arrested me.
From this testimony of a UC Berkeley graduate student arrested on the evening of Nov.9th on Sproul:
They cuffed me and dragged me into Sproul Hall, where they were holding around thirty of us. An officer came and asked me my name, and I told it to her. She then started firing off questions, and I politely told her that before I did that, I wanted to know my rights at this point in the process and when I would be able to speak to a lawyer. She responded, “You have no rights”, to which I responded “That’s impossible.” In one of many disturbing moments of the night, she informed me that I was wrong – and wrote me down as a non-cooperative arrestee. That simple request will earn me extra harsh treatment in the student disciplinary process, she assured me. Throughout the night, we were referred to as “bodies” not “people.” I was never Mirandized.
Perhaps the most telling part of this report is that even UC Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor Claire Holmes could not understate the severity of these events:
Asked to review the video on Friday, Claire Holmes, a spokeswoman for UC Berkeley, promised a thorough investigation.
“The images are extremely disturbing,” Holmes said. “Obviously we will be looking into the incident and appropriate measures will be taken. We will have to go through an investigation.”