Left-wing students and staff within the University of California (UC) system staged a one-day “virtual” walkout Monday to demand that UC “abolish” campus police forces whose primary responsibility is to keep students safe.
Capital Public Radio reported:
At universities across California, students and workers refused to attend class or meetings, answer emails and clock into work Monday as part of a “day of refusal” organized by the group Cops Off Campus Coalition. The work stoppage began Abolition May, a series of actions grounded in a central demand: Remove police from all campuses.
Though the action was all-virtual due to the pandemic, 27 centers and departments in University of California schools and over 1,100 individuals throughout the nation signed a pledge to participate in the day of refusal.
The Cops Off Campus Coalition includes organizations in both the United States and Canada and formed in the wake of last summer’s uprisings against police violence following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. It has since been meeting regularly to prepare for Abolition May.
The report claims that the presence of campus police “has often undermined students’ perception of safety” and adds that “some students say regardless of increased diversity in law enforcement, continued police presence has retraumatized them from prior experiences.”
The “pledge” signed by participants in the virtual protest claims that campus police “evoke images of brutality against student protesters by local and state police forces during the 1960s and 1970s anti-war movement.” It also claims: “The University of California police system has a history of using its police departments to brutalize students and to surveil and assault activists.
It also claims that “repression, racial profiling, brutality, and violence” are “fundamental characteristics of policing, inherent to its design.”
The movement to abolish police on UC campuses gained momentum last year, with the Black Lives Matter movement.
A survey released by the University of California Berkeley in 2019 showed strong support for police. Of those surveyed, majorities agreed that campus police “deal with me honestly and ethically” (84%); “show concern for people’s rights” (76%); “can be trusted to have my best interests in mind” (75%); and “can be trusted to make decisions that are good for the campus as a whole” (73%). Among black students, agreement was lower (“ranging from 49% to 64%,” the survey reported, without specifying); and also lower among “transgender/gender non-conforming” students (“35% to 49%,” again without specifics).
A similar survey in 2014 reported that only 2.5% of students experienced “exclusionary conduct” from UC Berkeley police.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.