At noon today, 5 students were detained by UCIPD officers for writing messages about the fee increases, new UAW contract, and police violence with sidewalk chalk. All were allegedly stopped for “vandalism”, and were told they may face criminal charges and/or student conduct sanctions. This author was threatened with arrest for trying to identify officers. Detaining officer numbers were #928 and #944, #921 was supervising officer, and one self-identified plain-clothes officer (no badge number) was on the scene. Before the students were even released, the administration had underpaid student workers cleaning up the chalk.
Earlier today, 16 students were arrested protesting outside the UC Regents meeting at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
Last year, two students were arrested at the University of Arizona for chalking on campus, charged with misdemeanors and possible student conduct violations. After a massive campaign to disobediently chalk over campus, U of A decided to drop criminal and conduct charges. “There have been a number of concerns in the past few years about institutional attempts to silence student speech… And this incident, in my mind, seems to fit that trend.” Since this is at least the 3rd or 4th time this has happened at UCI, perhaps such a campaign is in order.