Guns allowed on campus at UC Berkeley for SJP last week

UC Police look the other way at guns on campus. Violation state, federal law

By —— Bio and Archives--May 14, 2008

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anti-Israel protesters at UC-BerkeleyWhile some Americans happily celebrated the 60th birthday of Israel this past 
week, on several California campuses it was the “Nakba” (Arabic for 
“Catastrophe”) that was celebrated instead and American college campuses nationwide also provided the venue for the Israel bashing event by setting up fake “checkpoints” and accosting students for their ID then saying they could not go home to their villages” inside Israel. Meanwhile, as in the past, anti-Israel protesters at UC-Berkeley illegally brandished realistic weapons in order to call attention to “Israeli oppression.”

anti-Israel protesters at UC-BerkeleyFederal law requires toy guns to have bright orange tips and the 
California Penal Code section 12556 clearly stipulates that “No person 
may openly display or expose any imitation firearm [...] in a public 

For the full text of the statute, scroll to the bottom of the link by clicking here: 

Moreover, University of California code 40.10 states that “University 
properties shall be used only in accordance with federal, state, and 
local laws and shall not be used for the purpose of organizing or 
carrying out unlawful activity.”  Another code 70.50 adds that registered student groups (including Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Association) must respect state and Federal law.

anti-Israel protesters at UC-BerkeleyFinally, the UC Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline states that “Students 
are expected to comply with all laws and with University policies and 
campus regulations,” and that “Chancellors may impose discipline for 
violations of University policies or campus regulations.” 
According to an eyewitness account of the May 7th protest,  the UC Police was present at the protest but would not enforce the law. UC Berkeley Middle East Studies Center receives considerable money and support from Saudi Arabia so this is not surprising. Meanwhile, Cal students were nonetheless subject to having guns pointed at them all day long at Sather Gate in the center of campus.

I would encourage those of you who are concerned that the UC-Berkeley 
administration will not enforce state law or university policy to write 
to the UC-Berkeley Police Department Chief of Police Victoria Harrison
and the Office of the Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. At the time this article went to press, neither was available to comment.

Since student groups often brandish toy weapons on our campuses, 
especially during “Apartheid Wall Checkpoint” protests, it is high time taxpayers who support public universities report infractions of federal or state law to the police and university administrations of their local campuses as this problem is not unique to UC Berkeley. Recently, the San Jose State administration put their foot down when students from Palestinian and Muslim groups on that campus made the same violations also to only have the campus police look the other way.   In April, 2007 at De Anza Community College, protesters also carried black toy guns on campus that did not have orange tips, a violation of both federal and state law in the United States.

Lee Kaplan -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Lee Kaplan is an investigative journalist. He is also a regular columnist for Front Page Magazine, the Israel National News.

Older articles by Lee Kaplan

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