Cal tuition protest ends in scuffles, arrests

A student protest about budget cuts and tuition hikes yesterday on the Cal campus ended in scuffles and two arrests. Hundreds of students marched on the campus and then occupied Tolman Hall. The students were dispersed at around 9 p.m. last night.

Drew Phillips, 25, was arrested at Tolman Hall for battery on a peace officer with injury, wearing a mask in a commission of a crime and resisting arrest. Phillips had allegedly grabbed a magazine clip from UC Police Officer Donna Chapman. He was taken to the lockup at the Berkeley Police Department. Richard Clemons, 30, was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer with injury and resisting arrest at Tolman Hall. The arrest occurred after chunks of concrete and a chair were thrown at officers. He was taken to Santa Rita jail.

According to the comprehensive reports in the Daily Cal, the protests had been noisy but peaceful throughout the day. The demonstrators had occupied parts of Tolman Hall for over seven hours. The scuffles erupted when police attempted to prevent other demonstrators from entering the building. Tolman Hall has been designated as seismically unsafe and is not used for classrooms.

The UC Board of Regents is considering a plan that would increase tuition to $22,000 by 2015.

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  • As I mentioned in reply to another post, according to KCBS’s new crew the anti-cop anarchist student
    “protesters” built makeshift shields out of plywood and foam that were painted to look like signs. Apparently instructions on how to make these have been circulating on anarchist websites. You can see the protesters battering campus police with some of these shields in the above video, and you can identify their construction in this photograph at the Daily Californian:×398.jpg

    According to police reports the protesters took these shields and approached campus police officers in groups of two or more and attempted to crush the officers between the shields to disable them. It was during one of these assaults that Drew Phillips attempted to grab the weapon of a campus police officer and knocker her ammo clip off her belt.

    If they are Cal students, these kids should be expelled for assaulting campus employees.

  • So much for the commitment of the State of California to higher education. When I was in the UC system we flipped out when tuition that was roughly $2500/yr was hiked to approx $4K/yr. The figure of $22K for a year of tuition in 2015 is stunning. In the late 1990’s I went to a private graduate school to get a MBA in International Management. Tuition for 1 year at that time cost $20K.

    It really appears that students these days need the help of parents to make some serious cost/benefit analyses when considering where to go to school. If a person pays $20K+ a year for 4 years of undergrad, they will be setting themselves up for financial failure in life, especially when one considers that in an overly educated place such as the SF Bay Area, most people need a BA and a grad school degree to make enough $$ to have a middle class standard of living.

    Welcome to the new America, land of inequality, sinking standards of living, & an American Dream that has just been sent from intensive care down to the basement morgue.

  • There was a “Drew Philips” involved in trashing NYU during protests in 2009 who was 22 at the time.
    I wonder if it’s the same guy.

  • I agree about our State’s priorities being out of whack, but even at a grand total of $80k, an undergraduate education is still worth it.

    The report titled “The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings” (.pdf) reveals that over an adult’s working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor’s degree, $2.1 million

    The Bay Area is a really unaffordable place to live and over-saturated with college grads who are willing to work for low wages, but a Cal degree in the right field could earn you a lot of money in the rest of the State.

  • John Holland

    “If they are Cal students, these kids should be expelled for assaulting campus employees.”

    if this is true agreed. please be loud, disobedient, and NONVIOLENT. crushing a cop between sandwich boards is not cool.

  • John Holland

    My first semester reg fees were $575. I dare say the state has benefited greatly from my UCB education (as have I). As a father of a college-bound daughter, I’m ashamed at how we have failed her with regards to higher education.

  • I agree completely. Peaceful protests, sit-ins, etc, are all great ways to exercise your free speech rights and have your voice heard.

    But this newer, more violent style of protest where participants assault the police and actively try to get the cops to brutalize them by taunting and throwing things is way out of line. Much like what we’ve seen with the BART protests and many other protests in the Bay Area and throughout the State, it seems like these events are now drawing a group of hardcore anarchists from around the country who use protests about various causes as an opportunity to attack local police and destroy property.

  • Charles_Siegel

    College graduates pay $80k to earn $900k more over their life. 

    To figure out whether it is worth it,  you have to discount the flow of cash that they earn in the next 40 or so years of their life to come up with its present value.  I don’t have time to do the calculation, but my guess is that it is worth it but close.  If you invested that $80 at compound interest, you would earn less than $900k over the next 40 years – but I guess it would not be too much less. 

    Does someone want to put the numbers in an Excel spreadsheet and get the present value, with different assumptions for the discount rate?

  • Sure, but that $900k is just an average, which is why I point out that only a degree in “the right field” makes it “worth it” in the long run. Engineering graduates will certainly earn a heck of a lot more than their high school educated counterparts. Ethnic studies majors, maybe not so much.

  • Charles_Siegel

    I recently put some money in a bond fund that has earned 7% consistently over the last decade, good years and bad.  Most bond funds consistently earn 5%.  Stocks should earn more in  the long term than bonds.

    7% is a convenient figure for a rough calculation, because compound 7% interest doubles the value of your money in about ten years.  With 4 doublings during your 40 year work life, the initial $80k will turn into $1,280,000 – more than the average person gets by investing that money in a college education. 

    Yes, you will earn more if you major in engineering, but most people are not good enough at math.

    My own opinion is that it is better to go to college

    1) because learning is valuable in itself, even apart from money it earns you; my favorite college classes were the one where you read philosophy and literature, which introduced me to ideas that I have thought about ever since. 

    2) because college graduates generally do more interesting work.  You might earn more by investing the $80k in the stock market and working at McDonalds, but you might be happier if you go to college and get a more interesting job.

    3) because going to college gives you 4 years of wild, drunken parties that you can look back on all the rest of your life.  (Just kidding.)

  • Hey Charles,

    Can you provide a link or more information about these bonds that yield 7%? I used to do a lot of CD-laddering for short term investment back when promo rates were good, but since they’ve bottomed out there’s no money to be made in them any more.


  • Indybay Reader

    You are misinformed and there is video proof on Indybay that your article is not accurate.

    The police shut the doors and wouldn’t let anyone leave.  That was the primary concern of the protesters.  People were trapped, and couldn’t care less about getting people inside… they just wanted to go. 

    Also the man inside who is being arrested was already detained in a choke hold and handcuffed before the chair or anything was thrown.  Things being thrown was the reaction to the arrest.

    The police have total control over that door.  And the police aren’t grabbing at people trying to enter, they only are physically engaged with the people on the inside.  They aren’t actively pushing back people trying to enter, they are punishing people who are trying to exit.

    There was a set of stairs which led to an alternative exit which the police forgot to block off, so a few people escaped, but the police quickly repositioned themselves to block that exit as well.  Most people weren’t familiar with the building and didn’t realize there was another way out until it was too late.

    There was also a Channel 2 camera-man who was inside when the incident occurred, and started to engage the crowd.  The police didn’t notice him despite his large camera he was using.

    At no time was a dispersal order given to protesters.  The police just surrounded everyone in the room.

    You owe it to your readers to investigate police claims before printing them.  Or at the very least print an opposing viewpoint to counter them.

    The fact is the police made a serious of bad judgement calls: failure to make a dispersal order, blocking the main exit and then blocking the secondary exit, and placing a protester in a choke hold.

    Arguably, what the police did is called “kettling”.  This “kettling” procedure is being challenged in courts across the US, and the UK as illegal detention, because everyone in the crowd is being detained without charge or probable cause. 

    Also nobody had any sleeping gear nor food.  There didn’t seem to be any intention on staying much passed 9PM.  People were waiting to leave on when issued a dispersal order, which never came.

  • Bruce Love

    During earlier occupations on the other side of campus the only broken bone was on the student side, reports said. Do you think this might have something to do with why the protesters were flanked with defenders carrying improvised riot shields?

    Also, do you think that political change in this area can be accomplished if the students gather on the lawn to sing Kumbaya?   I’ve heard that this is effective at making regents and legislators weep softly as they resolve to change their ways.

  • Charles_Siegel seems to be the best place to invest: they invented the index fund, and they keep their costs lower than anyone else, as far as I know.

    In general, long-term bonds earn more than other bonds. 

    Therefore, the fund I was thinking of is Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index Fund

    But I would recommend that you search around for all of Vanguard’s bond index funds (and other index funds) to see which suits you best, rather than just jumping into this one.

  • Elizadolittle

    I work in this building and what I arrived to this morning was trash.  Lots of trash.  If these students are so concerned about the overworked and underpaid staff then perhaps they could clean up after themselves so we, the overworked and underpaid staff, don’t have to do it for them.

  • Nick Mamatas

    Funny, my wife works in that building too and she didn’t mention about trash.

  • The protesters assaulted police officers and forced their way past them to get inside the building.

    Why should they have to issue a dispersal order when it was very, very clear that they weren’t supposed to enter the building in the first place?

  • Do you think that assaulting police officers and throwing chunks of concrete at campus employees should be part of the democratic process?

  • Charles_Siegel

    and I recommend diversifying.  Don’t put all your savings in the one fund that looks best to you. Put it in a number of funds. 

  • Unless you are studying an area that is trending upwards in demand, I doubt a Cal degree will get someone a salary premium that will make a material difference in living standards for a person with a BA. I’ll also go out on a limb and estimate that fewer than 10% of the undergrad programs offered at Cal are trending upwards.

    Apparently students today are faced with a cold & hard business decision on which school to attend, but to do that you need to have a high degree of certainty what you will do when you graduate (before you are admitted to the university), understanding the median salary for that chosen profession and what the median salary could be in 4 years, understanding that not only will tuition be $22K/yr, but also what living costs on or off campus will be, understanding with a reasonable degree of certainty the cost of “miscellaneous” education expense (books, supplies, transport, student fees, etc.).

    Unfortunately an 18 year old doesn’t have the knowledge or life experience to really understand all of these variables and the skill to conduct a cost/benefit analysis or to understand the confidence that people such as myself have when they say that “you can’t count on pedigree making a material difference in your life.”

    What will make a difference however is what you made out of your education and the opportunities you were able to participate in while you were there, but if you are paying $22K/yr for tuition, the number of additional opportunities that you can participate in are going to plummet.

  • Elizadolittle

    It was in the West Wing outside the ED Psych library when I arrived at work at 8:15.  Education staff cleaned it up.

  • Bill

    I think the demonstrators should go to Sacramento or maybe some Republican district offices and protest against the real culprits.  The declining state support and what is essentially the privatization of the University start in Sacramento.  While the “return to aid” for the fee hikes is still 30-33% the fee increases are a hidden tax increase of all UC student’s families.

  • Indybay Reader

    Are you saying a bunch of kids defeated an entire police force to enter a building?

    Or are you saying the cops got scared and let the kids in?

    Really what happened was people walked in through the door like normal people.  And there was no war in which the entire UC police force was assaulted.

  • Nick Mamatas

    Sure it was. I believe whatever pseudonymous people with axes to grind say on the Internet.

  • Nick Mamatas

    PS: It is not so that Tolman is not used for classrooms. While there are fewer classes now than in times past, both psych and ed classes ARE taught in Tolman.


  • “Are you saying a bunch of kids defeated an entire police force to enter a building?”


    “Or are you saying the cops got scared and let the kids in?”


    Some of what happened can be seen in the videos at the beginning of this article.
    The masked protesters/anarchists (not all students, not all kids) assaulted campus police officers with their improvised riot shields and forced their way into the building.
    Anyone who wants can watch the video and see it for themselves.

    If you want to have peaceful protests, next time you should consider not coming masked and armed with riot shields, and you should CERTAINLY let the other protesters know that trying to grab a cop’s weapon is just plain stupid.

  • But that would be hard and they’d have to commute.

    They don’t actually care about their cause that much.

  • More information on the improvised shields being used by the masked rioters.
    These are used by rioters across Europe:

    That there are signs painted on them is entirely secondary to their function. These are improvised riot shields.

  • Bruce Love

    It looks like there’s a segment of radicals in the East Bay right now
    who want to bring the riots from the streets of England and Italy over
    to California.

    No, no, those guys are in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and there are a few on Wall St., too.

  • Oh really? Got any photos of Governor Brown or Congressman Boehner assaulting cops or smashing private property? Or are they doing what they’re doing legally rather than throwing a tantrum and trying to smash a bunch of stuff because they aren’t getting their way?