berkeley campus police harrass non-violent english professor

A few days ago, participants in Occupy Berkeley were sturggling with the police when officers arrested a few people – after yanking them out of the crowd by their hair. One of them was English professor Celeste Langan. Not surprisingly, there’s been a huge outcry.

A few comments: This video, and others,  illustrates a new era in the policing of protest. Now, basically any protest of significant size will likely be recorded by bystanders with smartphones. For example, when a protester was injured by Oakland police a few weeks ago, there was a video showing that the guy was just standing around. The immediate question is how the administration will deal. So far, badly. The long term question is how police departments will change in an age where everything is filmed.

Book adverts: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz

Written by fabiorojas

November 13, 2011 at 4:31 am

Posted in fabio, social movements

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. teppo

    November 13, 2011 at 4:46 am

  2. It may not be so much the qualitative recording as the quantitative distribution. What was once “broadcasting” (an analogy from ancient agriculture) is now “going viral” (another analogy).

    As for this event, I wonder what former Berkeley police chief August Vollmer would have said. (“He was the first chief to require that police officers attain college degrees, and persuaded the University of California to teach criminal justice.” – Wikipedia here.)


    Michael E, Marotta

    November 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

  3. “The long term question is how police departments will change in an age where everything is filmed..”

    Put “illegal to film police” in your browser and follow the links. The First District federal appeals court ruled that it is well within the First Amendment. However, the State of Illinois is not in that district. Neither is California.

    This will take years to resolve. Look ahead for a SCOTUS ruling.


    Michael E, Marotta

    November 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

  4. Fabio, I’m surprised you refer to the English professor as non-violent — isn’t teaching a useless major a form of economic violence against students? (Oh wait, you vowed to abstain from future “useless majors” comments.)



    November 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

  5. Jerry: you are crossing threads. No soup for you!



    November 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  6. There’s also a Cal sociology grad student who was arrested at the protest. He blogs about this, and his experiences with Occupy Oakland and Berkeley, here:


    fellow grad

    November 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: