UC Berkeley Web Feature
Message from Chancellor Birgeneau: Researchers must be free from threats and violence by animal rights terrorists
Dear colleagues and Berkeley students,
I cannot denounce strongly enough the ongoing campaign by animal rights terrorists who seek to intimidate, threaten and now, with the fire bombings of a home and automobile at UC Santa Cruz, to harm University of California academic researchers and their families. The work of our faculty and student researchers is dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of people worldwide and it is undertaken following strict campus and federal protocols to ensure that when animals must be used in research, the highest standards of care and ethical treatment are followed.
We are fortunate that the abhorrent acts at UC Santa Cruz did not result in serious injuries. These actions are the latest in a pattern of threatening and harassing activities at some of the UC campuses. At UC Berkeley, since last summer more than two dozen faculty, researchers and staff members have been terrorized by these extremists through a campaign of harassment at their offices and homes. Campus police, in collaboration with other UC police departments and with local, state and federal law enforcement are actively investigating these incidents and are working aggressively to protect the safety of our researchers and their families and to deter further acts of harassment and violence.
In addition, our Government Relations staff is active in a UC-wide effort to support the passage of AB 2296 introduced by Assemblyman Gene Mullin. The bill will provide more tools to law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes. I hope that you will join me and our UC family in encouraging the Legislature and Administration to support this legislation and to join us in condemnation of the acts that have occurred.
I join UC President Yudof and my fellow chancellors in vigorously condemning this campaign of harassment and criminal acts. As a community we must stand together to support our colleagues and to affirm publicly and unequivocally that they must be free to continue vitally important research free from threats and violence.
Robert J. Birgeneau
Chancellor, UC Berkeley
Also see the statement by UC President Mark G. Yudof in which he condemns the Santa Cruz firebombings.