60.2 F

Davis, California

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Letter to the editor: Don’t trust UC

I read the articles last spring on police spying on student demonstrations with alarm. Rather than risk having current students end up like me, here’s a tip and a tale:

Tip: The police and administration are lying don’t trust them.

Tale: My problems with UC started when I was involved in riots at UC Santa Barbara during 1971-72 (check islavista.org). The police had informants in the crowd. I was under “double jeopardy”: giving directions to students and throwing back teargas grenades, while also photographing incidents of police brutality. One guy, wearing hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, grabbed my shoulder, spun me, then seized my shirt, pulled me close and practically whispered, “I’m going to remember your face. You’re f-ing dead.” I head-butted the punk; he let go, and then ran off.

After that, efforts were made to involve me in drug deals. The set-ups failed, so next thing I know I’m arrested on trumped-up (false and malicious) charges. At my second arrest – I wasn’t home – cops came with a search warrant and all my film disappeared; my cameras either disappeared or were beaten into scrap with nightsticks – maybe they resisted?

The UC police and administration don’t give a damn about your safety and security; there is ample evidence of that in how they handled Robert Lugo (check Davis Wiki or End-The-Regents-Reign on Facebook). Their job is to protect the reputation and property of the regents – you and the faculty are irrelevant; unless and until you threaten the regents. So they video and photo and spy on demonstrators, pick out leaders and photographers, and single them out for the first round of arrests.

The regents run UC like dictators run gangster states – spy on the people and, if they revolt, round up the usual suspects first – leaders and journalists. The current crop of dictators blaming Al-Qae’da (Kaddafi-duck), criminals (Assad), or the English (pick your dictator) for their people’s revolts are acting the same way the regents did in the ’70s. The regents were always blaming what they called “outside agitators” for UC riots. Of course, they created outside agitators by expelling student radicals and organizers.

I’ve been haunted by those arrests ever since – they led to my problems here.

And remember: you are on your own. The American Civil Liberties Union show up so their attorney can get media face time. Where is she now? Get who you can on your side and organize as best you can.

I’ve got more to say, but not the space; I’ll save it for later. I’ll conclude by saying, don’t fight the regents; just eliminate them. Not with bombs or bullets, but with ballots. Get an initiative on the ballot to end the regents and place control of the university in the hands of the faculty. And, when you do demonstrate (you must – the costs of UC have gone up over 80 percent in the last 5 years and are scheduled to double in the next 5); make sure everyone has a camera – vid or still. They can’t get us all.

Howard Zochlinski

Plaintiff in lawsuit against UC