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Monday, March 14, 2011

UC Education Rally Targets State Cuts, Then Cops

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM

click to enlarge Much to be against
  • Much to be against

SF Weekly readers have grown accustomed to the all-consuming education cuts -- and the protests, or what some might call mayhem, that go along with them.

But here is another layer to the budget cut story: Protesters who publicly railed against the state cuts and tuition hikes last year are now suing Oakland cops for arresting them during the March 4, 2010 demonstration against the UC system.

The claim, which was filed last week, states that during the protest at about 5 p.m., more than 200 people were marching south along Castro Street in Oakland when the group started walking up a long exit ramp from the freeway, with the cops behind them.

The group continued on the freeway against northbound traffic, and just before the marchers reached the Broadway exit, California Highway Patrol officers confronted them while Oakland police officers "charged into the crowd, swinging their clubs and tackling people from behind."

The cops injured protesters and intimidated them as they aimed firearms at the crowd, lawyers argued in the claim.

"This caused the fearful crowd to split, with some people crossing the center barrier onto the eastbound side of the I-880 freeway," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs, which include 20 participants of the protest, hired attorney Ben Rosenfeld of San Francisco, who argues that cops "corralled and contained" marchers and then "unleashed gratuitous and excessive force."

They were "truncheoning them, punching them, and kicking them," the claims states.

Alex Katz, spokesman with the Oakland City Attorney's Office, said he was not yet ready to comment on the suit.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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