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LOCAL News :: Education & Youth : Police State

Police Riot at Tent State UC Santa Cruz

April 21, 2005
Response to Severe Police Brutality at University of California-Santa Cruz, Supporting students' freedom of speech and basic human rights. Education, Not War
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On Monday April 18, 2005, at the University of California-Santa Cruz, the city police engaged in a brutal suppression of students' right to assemble, their freedom of speech, and their basic human rights. University of California-Santa Cruz students had organized Tent University Santa Cruz, a week long encampment in coordination with the Tent State Universities at University of Missouri-Kansas City and Rutgers University-New Brunswick to support the full funding of higher education and oppose the Iraq War. The message is simple: “Education, Not War.�

As UCSC students peacefully set up tents on their own campus for the night police rioted, violently dispersing several hundred campers, arresting near twenty, and injuring dozens. These injuries included but were not limited to bruises, dislocated shoulders and one student who had been attacked so severely he was rendered unconscious. Aside from using batons and taser-guns on peaceful protesters, Riot Police literally locked students’ heads and applies force to pressure points as students sat in unity and locked arms. The live video footage shows students rendered unconscious from such tactics, and yet the police still continued pulverizing them.

You can watch the footage for yourself by accessing and following the UCSC-link, or going to, or

The message of Tent State University is one of peaceful protest, creating a communal space of tents whereby we symbolically give higher education a “home.� Events include informative workshops and discussions on local and global issues, and Speak-Outs which include legislators and community leaders of local-to-global significance, including Vietnam and Iraqi Veterans Against the War. A common question asked is whether the name “Tent State University� is a reflection of the incidents that occurred at Kent State – and although this was not originally the intent, our peaceful civic engagement stirs strong reminiscence of such historic atrocities.

Tent State University of New Brunswick, NJ, condemns the barbaric and authoritarian disregard for the health, safety, and well being of UCSC students and calls for the immediate recognition of the rights of UCSC students as well as a halt to any and all oppressive actions of the University and city administrators and police. We demand a formal public apology, and for medical and jail expenses to be recouped. We call upon Rutgers University to issue a statement of condemnation to the UCSC Administration.

We call upon all concerned citizens, organizations, and Universities across the country to stand for the message to Support Education, Not War.

We stand in coast-to-coast solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Tent University-Santa Cruz.

Yael Bromberg
New Brunswick, NJ

yael (at)
yael2121 (at)

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Re: Police Riot at Tent State UC Santa Cruz

Although city police were present I believe the majority of the brutality was committed by University of California police.

Re: Police Riot at Tent State UC Santa Cruz

I was in lockdown that monday, and served witness to the violence that occurred.

To clarify-
No one was rendered unconcious. After being seperated from their circle, protestors went limp as a form of passive resistance.

We did our best to document any injuries sustained, and there were no dislocated shoulders reported.

No tasers were used. At all.

Police DID use batons, on serveral occasions, including students NOT participating in the lockdown.
Police DID use 'pain compliance' tactics, including pressure points under our jaws, the edges of our ears, and insides of our wrists. They also twisted our arms, which is clearly visible in the videos released.

The cops themselves were called in from several different places, but the ones I know were represented were Santa Cruz sheriffs, UCSC police, and UC Berkely police. They came outfitted in riot-style face masks, and full padding/protective gear. They were obviously prepared for more than 'dispersal' of the Tent U. crowd.

Thank you so much for the support and energy that has been coming from the rest of Tent U across the nation- it's times like these that we need all the help we can get.
Thank you also for this article- I feel like it explains very clearly the real intent of Tent University.
For any locals- there is a TUSC rally on Friday the 13th at 1pm in the baytree plaza on campus, in order to recieve the administration's response to our platform, which was presented last week at a meeting with the chancellor.

Thank you again for the support-
it is always appreciated.

Tent University Santa Cruz Student

Re: Police Riot at Tent State UC Santa Cruz

"Police riot"? "Severe police brutality"?

You need to have your eyes examined, or your brain. I have seen police riot in LA. I have seen severe police brutality. This wasn't a riot, nor was it severe, nor was it brutal.

Police brutality is the use of excessive force.

The pigs didn't use chemical weapons (pepper pray, CS) grenades or sprayers. They didn't use bullets - lead, rubber, wood, or paint balls. They didn't just up and start clubbing folks over the head like baby seals. And now we have confirmation they used no tasers either.

You resisted, and they - to their credit - patiently applied the minimum force necessary to counter your resistance.

Did you have a right to be there? Maybe. I'm really not sure. Should they have been arresting you? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.

But "police riot" and "severe police brutality"? C'mon. Reality check, please. Have some perspective. Your black-and-white view of this does not help to sell your cause nor win support from the masses - only from other extremists who share your binary world view. People see how unreliable and biased your reporting is, and they right away realize that your account of the story cannot be trusted. I wonder what else you've greatly exagerated?

What's really sad, is I hate cops. Yet your twisting of reality forces me to defend them. I don't know which is more insane, you or them.



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