If you recall, a FOIA public records request by a UC Davis student recently revealed that the administration had created a special undercover police unit designed to covertly infiltrate the student movement. We have now learned that orders may have come from Yudof himself, and similar units may exist on other (if not all) UC campuses. We have already heard about similar infiltration attempts at Berkeley and Santa Cruz. The national ACLU is now involved; we’ll continue to post updates as they come in.
UC Davis students held a press conference this morning on precisely this matter. About a dozen mainstream press outlets attended, including very favorable coverage by a CBS affiliate based in Sacramento. You can view the accompanying video here. For the UCD students’ press release, read on…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2011
UC Davis Administration Promises End to Police Infiltration
No Promise to Stop Tracking of Student Protests
DAVIS, CA – UC Davis administrators today – after admitting to members of the news media they had secretly monitored students with undercover police – promised students they will no longer use undercover police officers to infiltrate student protests. This promise comes after students forced the UC Davis administration to release hundreds of internal documents which reveal that the administration has set up a group to monitor student activism.
Students, however, say they are not satisfied. They demand that any and all teams monitoring student activism be disbanded immediately, and that the administration reveal whether this Activism Response Team was authorized by UC President Mark Yudof.
This morning, students and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) held a press conference to share those documents with the media and express their concerns about the actions of the administration. With the support of the ACLU, students have demanded that the UC Davis administration disband the group, called the “Activism Response Team.” The administration has so far not agreed to this demand.
Campus officials further declined to state whether the Activism Response Team was authorized by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), as some documents suggest. In one internal communication, dated September 30, 2010, UCOP administrator Eric Heng asked administrators on all campuses to send information regarding planned student activities and demonstrations to the Office of the President. Mr. Heng’s message indicates that this information was requested by University of California President Mark Yudof.
The administration’s response has failed to satisfy students at UC Davis and other UC campuses. Students plan to submit further requests for information under the California Public Records Act and Freedom of Information Act and to continue to press the administration for further transparency in their response to student activism.