Two people were arrested and several buildings were vandalized when a crowd that had gathered for a dance party at the University of California at Berkeley's Sproul Plaza Thursday night became unruly and confrontational with police, a campus spokeswoman said Friday.
Hundreds of students and other people had gathered at the plaza for the dance party, university spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said. At some point, about 10 people entered Durant Hall, which is closed and under renovation.
The group broke windows, sprayed graffiti on the building, tipped over portable toilets, and hung banners, one of which read “March 4” in reference to next week's statewide rallies against budget cuts to public education, Gilmore said.
The group then left the campus and joined more than 100 people who wandered down Telegraph Avenue and lit fires in trash cans and Dumpsters, according to Gilmore.
Some people then began throwing rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police officers who had responded to the situation, Berkeley police Officer Andrew Frankel said.
All but four Berkeley on-duty patrol officers responded in the area, and the department also requested the assistance of the Oakland and BART police departments and the California Highway Patrol, Frankel said.
One officer was hit with a fire extinguisher, and another was hit in the neck by the metal cap of a fire hydrant, Frankel said. He did not have information on the extent of the officers' injuries.
The rioters also smashed the glass windows and doors of a Subway sandwich shop at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, he said.
Police arrested Marika Goodrich, a 28-year-old Berkeley woman, on suspicion of assaulting a peace officer, inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Frankel said.
Zachary Miller, 26, of Berkeley, was also arrested. He was arrested on suspicion of inciting a riot, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer, Frankel said.
Callie Maidhof, a first-year Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, said the dance party the crowd had come from was loosely affiliated with “Rolling University,” a series of events on campus leading up to the March 4 rallies.
Maidhof, who helped organize some of the Rolling University events, which included faculty roundtable discussions and interactive art exhibits, said she didn't know who was behind the vandalism at Durant Hall.
“By all appearances, it may have been spontaneous,” she said.
Maidhof said another banner was hung at Durant Hall that said College of Debtors in Defiance, a group that posted a statement on the Web site www.reclaimuc.org/why-durant-hall about why the building was chosen for occupation.
The group states that Durant Hall formerly housed the East Asian Library, but is being renovated to house an administration building after raising student fees, which Maidhof said showed that “the burden of debt is being shifted to the students' shoulders.”
At about 9:20 a.m. Friday, a campus graffiti removal crew was painting over graffiti on a large board outside Durant Hall.
The vandalism on campus did not affect classes Friday as the hall is currently under renovation, Gilmore said.
Friday morning, a separate crew was also scrubbing away graffiti from the side of the building that housed the Subway shop that was vandalized.
Store manager Rigoberto Alonso was on the phone calling for an estimate on the cost to repair the damage.
“I'm mad, but what can I do?” Alonso said. “I'm not going to sit here and cry.”
He said he could only recall one other instance of vandalism at the store, about 12 or 15 years ago.
Gilmore said campus officials are “disappointed” by Thursday night's events.
“Violence is not the way to bring attention to the cause of the need for more funds for education,” she said. “We hope this will not hurt the efforts next week to go to Sacramento and lobby for more funds for education.”