Berkeley City Council will consider asking the Alameda County District Attorney to drop charges against eight participants in a protest on Sproul Plaza last November.
City Councilman Kriss Worthington writes that bringing charges against protesters may stifle free speech in Berkeley.
Below is the letter Worthington will ask his colleagues April 3 to send to the D.A.
Dear Nancy E. O’Malley,
The City of Berkeley respectfully requests that your office drop the charges against the participants in the November 9, 2011 non-violent student, union, faculty, and community protest action.
Maintaining the charges may create a chilling effect on free speech and the right to peaceably assemble on public spaces. These two constitutional rights have made the City of Berkeley and UC Berkeley well known throughout the world. If these charges are not dropped, free speech and freedom to assemble may no longer be the same in Berkeley and the campus communities. Moreover, the UC Administration acknowledges that they were wrong in the way the November 9, 2011 demonstration was handled.
Therefore it is imperative that the District Attorney’s Office drop the charges. In sum, the Berkeley City Council requests that the charges be dropped against the participants in the November 9, 2011 non-violent, student, union, faculty, and community protest action.
Berkeley City Council
Cc: UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau
U.C.P.D. Chief Celaya