Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grateful for UCPD, mostly

We've been trying to laugh off this week - have a laugh at the ineptitude of the "leadership" at the Regents meetings- but that's not working. On Saturday morning we got our first look at a video from KTVU News and it was very disturbing. Now, it is clear that events within the UC community have gone down the path from the sublime- to the ridiculous - and further down the road toward the tragic. This seems an important moment to stop and assess. Please see this video -look at it carefully, come to your own conclusions or simply think on it. (Tactically, it looks strange to see only two officers at those elevator doors considering the number of protesters.)

We found that video by reading this year's 2010 UCMeP TOOL Of The Year Award -it was a poignant piece to read. (In it, however, UCMeP failed to reference this recent story -its a story that had Cloudminder concerned because of the UC connection and it felt like it might be a foreshadowing of things to come -- and now, months later, here we are.) The UCMeP statement is one that needs to be heard fully by the administration. Those who can listen with understanding, compassion and solutions- on all sides- need to step in and demand this administration respond to these events immediately. Help the administration help themselves- they need it- and its no secret.

The current students deserve that- the largely positive history of previous UCPD service deserves that- and so does the entire community.

Its seems the overuse of pepper spray and the police gun drawn and pointed at students at the Regents meeting this week could have been avoided. The majority peacefully engaged in their civic duty protests and good policing. They mostly co-existed just fine. In a couple of important instances -they didn't. It went horrible wrong --and it did so in a community that is still hurting from so many other recent similar incidents.

To us, in our student experience, UCBPD helped far more often than it hurt in the service of meetings. Their presence helped people to hear each other and opened dialogue- heated but necessary dialogue. That truly was our experience -- in the not so distant past. Yet, we are not part of the current student population - we did not see multiple tuition increases within the space of a few short years and UC misdeeds on the front page of newspapers almost every week, along with everything else. These are different times.

We also need to balance these events with appreciating UCPD when they: help a student who has had their car broken into;textbooks stolen; laptop stolen; need a late night escort; step in when a date or a party has gone bad; act as first responders when an earthquake, fire, or bad fall happens etc. If you were on campus at Cal during Loma Prieta or the Oakland firestorm you know what we're talking about. If you don't remember or know of those experiences take a look at this and this for more recent reminders. Also, many UCPD are also UC alumni and/or have (or hope to have) their kids attending UC.

As we remember Oscar Grant and Derrick Jones-- let us also remember Oakland SWAT team Sgt. and Cal alum Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege.

We could go on and on like this...

we deserve better than this -and we are better than this...

In that same vein, in this season, please participate in food and toy drives at the campuses and in your local community. Please go through your cabinets, cupboards, pantries -whatever-and empty out those items you know you will not use. Check the expiration date and throw the good stuff in a bag and take it to your local food bank.

Offload your old winter coats if you don't use them - give them to Project One Warm Coat.

Start a food or toy drive if there aren't any where you live and work.

We are all responsible for Fixing the Future.

We are definitely better than these times would have us be. Fiat Lux.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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