Campus & community, Campus news

Vandals strike campus building, trouble spills onto city streets

By Public Affairs

Two people, one a UC Berkeley student and the other a former student, were arrested early this morning (Friday, Feb. 26) following the takeover and vandalism of a campus building and a riot nearby in the city of Berkeley, according to campus police.

vandalism to building

In addition to spraying graffiti throughout the building, vandals ripped several holes in the newly refinished walls.

Around 11:30 last night, following a dance party on Upper Sproul Plaza, campus police said, a group of more than 100 people headed from the party to Durant Hall, which is closed for construction. After cutting the locks off the south gates, about half the group entered the building, resumed partying and began vandalizing the interior and exterior of the building. Inside, they wrote slogans on the walls and broke windows and a skylight. Outside, they overturned portable toilets, threw construction equipment and piled ladders and other items against the chain link fence.

Others gathered in front of the hall’s doors, preventing UC Berkeley police from entering.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. today, the group left Durant Hall and marched to the corner of Durant and Telegraph avenues, where they broke the windows of an eatery, interfered with police and threw items at them, including bottles, and set garbage cans on fire. Officers from the Berkeley Police Department responded to these incidents, making the two arrests, and asked for mutual aid assistance from Oakland police and the California Highway Patrol.

UC Berkeley police said the two individuals arrested by Berkeley city police were Marika Goodrich and Zachary Miller. Goodrich, a UC Berkeley student, was charged with obstructing a peace officer, inciting a riot and assaulting a peace officer and is being held on $32,500 bail. Miller, who was a UC Berkeley student last semester but is not registered this semester, faces three charges, including inciting a riot and obstructing an officer. He is being held on $22,500 bail.

At 3 this morning, dozens of rioters marched east on Durant Avenue to the south side of the University Art Museum, where they set a trash bin on fire. Mutual aid officers began to arrive, allowing police to disperse the protesters by 4 a.m.

The vandalized Durant Hall site has been secured, and the contractor is assessing the damage, according to Christine Shaff, director of communications for UC Berkeley Facilities Services.

In a message to the campus community, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau condemned the vandalism and violence. “Such action,” he said, “does incredible damage to our advocacy efforts with Sacramento and with the California public to preserve public higher education. We call on our campus community to work together to express our support for state reinvestment in public higher education in ways that uphold Berkeley’s values of peaceful protest and freedom of expression.”