New: Berkeley Council meeting ends in chaos

Thomas Lord
Thursday June 22, 2017 - 10:04:00 AM

"You don't have to break his arm!" urged Council Member Cheryl Davila (District 2), addressing Berkeley Police as they employed pain compliance techniques on a protester who held a stop-urban-shield banner at last night's City Council meeting. Other council members had scurried out of the room to flee the angry chants of hundreds who came out to protest Berkeley Police participation in the Urban Shield expo and training exercises. 

Davila and Council Member Kate Harrison were the two lone "No" votes, standing firmly against Berkeley Police participation in militarized training. Urban Shield is an element of the Bay Area region's federally sponsored Urban Areas Security Initiative (BAUASI). Under BAUASI's Regaional Training Exercise Plan (RTEP -- the military loves them some acronyms), Berkeley Police are supposed to become equipped and trained for, among other things, crowd control, "riot" suppression, and mass arrests. 

When the diverse crowd of BAUASI critics moved from the middle school auditorium to the street a police mob stood waiting for them and immediately set about "controlling" the crowd with shoving and strikes of batons. According to the local NBC affiliate (and pictures on twitter) one senior protester was bloodied by a blow to the head. Long time Berkeley activist Russel Bates was also struck multiple times. Two protesters were arrested.