JUDGE ORDERS INVESTIGATION OF YOLO D.A. RECORDS TO IDENTIFY COLLUSION & DISCRIMINATORY PROSECUTION OF UNION ACTIVISTS

Order Comes One Year After Arrests and Two Weeks After Food Service Workers’ Victory

Special to the Vanguard

On Wednesday April 30, 2007, Judge Basha of the Yolo County Court ordered the Yolo County District Attorney to investigate and turn over the records of all protests of 15 or more people in Yolo County over the last 5 years to identify patterns in the DA’s prosecution. In particular, the district attorney must present any and all communications between their office and the UC Davis administration, the Davis City Police Department, and/or the UC Davis Police Department in regards to protests and their prosecution. This order comes as part of a Murgia motion brought by the defendants, which seeks to show that there has been discriminatory prosecution in this case.

The 7 defendants, including a UCD lecturer, a UCD alum, a UCD student, UCD workers, and former Sodexho workers, were arrested on May 1st 2007 during a march in support of contracted out food service workers. Recently, on April 17, 2008, the UC Davis Administration finally announced that, in fact, the contracted out food service workers’ demands would be met and all of the workers will be converted to UCD employees with Union membership. UC Davis had been the last of the 10 UC campuses and 5 medical centers to still contract out its dining services.

“This is an important victory in a longer battle,” said John Viola, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild representing some of the May Day 2007 defendants, “since now we will be able to identify the ways in which union organizers and union supporters are being discriminatorily prosecuted as a result of collusion between the UC Administration, the Davis City Police Department, the UC Davis Police Department, and the Yolo County District Attorney.”

“This decision really vindicates us in bringing the motion,” said Arooj Ahmad, a former Sodexho worker and UCD Alumna who was arrested on May 1st, 2007, “which we think will show that we are being discriminated against for our support of the union. Now that the UC Davis administration has finally listened to the community and done the right thing, we can all see that our actions throughout this whole past year have been justified.”

During the hearing, the attorneys for the defendants exposed other incidents where police and the District Attorney worked together to chill union activity, as well as proved that other protesters who were involved with non-violent protests that were not affiliated with the union were not actually prosecuted.

“We applaud the district attorney’s ordinarily lenient practices in cases of non-violent civil disobedience,“ said Viola, “but find it totally improper, unacceptable, not to mention unconstitutional that their decision to prosecute in this case was arguably motivated by an improper relationship with the University and their efforts to stop the campaign.”

The District Attorney has 30 days to turn over the records, and the next court date will be June 11th.

2008 May Day Protests At UC Davis Push for Social Justice

While it paled in comparison to last year’s large crowd of 500 to 1000 students, workers, and community members, a solid crowd of more than 150 turned out to mark the commemoration of May Day in honor labor rights and other social justice. Among the variety of issues of concern–Coca-Cola’s treatment of workers in Central America, ending the war in Iraq, Immigrant Justice in the US, labor rights on campus and in the city of Davis, among a broad array of social issues brought to the fore.

Unlike last year where a large contingency marched from the Memorial Union down Russell to the corner of Anderson and Russell, where streets were blocked and arrests ensued, this year’s protests were mild by comparison. Music, drums, and fiery speeches were about the extent of the excitement.

A few of the highlights included an entertaining clash between the more progressive and liberal elements and College Republicans, who in a small contingency brought their own signs.

This inspired the partisan crowd to attempt to block the conservative messages in what quickly became a cat-and-mouse game.

Among a variety of speakers was Mayor Sue Greenwald who addressed the crowd citing her record of seeking a living wage for the city of Davis. The Mayor told the crowd that only she and Councilmember Lamar Heystek supported living wage and she pledged to support a progressive wage scale for the city of Davis to the applause of the crowd.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Court Watch

60 comments

  1. “”This decision really vindicates us in bringing the motion,” said Arooj Ahmad, a former Sodexho worker and UCD Alumna who was arrested on May 1st, 2007, “which we think will show that we are being discriminated against for our support of the union. Now that the UC Davis administration has finally listened to the community and done the right thing, we can all see that our actions throughout this whole past year have been justified.””

    No discrimination has been shown yet. The DA has to be given a chance to rebut the charges. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

    It also seems counter to the principles of democracy when protesters try to shut off the opinion of a group with a differing view. I thought a college campus was supposed to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas. You would never know it –

  2. “”This decision really vindicates us in bringing the motion,” said Arooj Ahmad, a former Sodexho worker and UCD Alumna who was arrested on May 1st, 2007, “which we think will show that we are being discriminated against for our support of the union. Now that the UC Davis administration has finally listened to the community and done the right thing, we can all see that our actions throughout this whole past year have been justified.””

    No discrimination has been shown yet. The DA has to be given a chance to rebut the charges. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

    It also seems counter to the principles of democracy when protesters try to shut off the opinion of a group with a differing view. I thought a college campus was supposed to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas. You would never know it –

  3. “”This decision really vindicates us in bringing the motion,” said Arooj Ahmad, a former Sodexho worker and UCD Alumna who was arrested on May 1st, 2007, “which we think will show that we are being discriminated against for our support of the union. Now that the UC Davis administration has finally listened to the community and done the right thing, we can all see that our actions throughout this whole past year have been justified.””

    No discrimination has been shown yet. The DA has to be given a chance to rebut the charges. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

    It also seems counter to the principles of democracy when protesters try to shut off the opinion of a group with a differing view. I thought a college campus was supposed to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas. You would never know it –

  4. “”This decision really vindicates us in bringing the motion,” said Arooj Ahmad, a former Sodexho worker and UCD Alumna who was arrested on May 1st, 2007, “which we think will show that we are being discriminated against for our support of the union. Now that the UC Davis administration has finally listened to the community and done the right thing, we can all see that our actions throughout this whole past year have been justified.””

    No discrimination has been shown yet. The DA has to be given a chance to rebut the charges. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

    It also seems counter to the principles of democracy when protesters try to shut off the opinion of a group with a differing view. I thought a college campus was supposed to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas. You would never know it –

  5. “This inspired the partisan crowd to attempt to block the conservative messages in what quickly became a cat-and-mouse game.”

    So the partisan crowd doesn’t want any other message to be disseminated except their own. How freedom minded of them!

  6. “This inspired the partisan crowd to attempt to block the conservative messages in what quickly became a cat-and-mouse game.”

    So the partisan crowd doesn’t want any other message to be disseminated except their own. How freedom minded of them!

  7. “This inspired the partisan crowd to attempt to block the conservative messages in what quickly became a cat-and-mouse game.”

    So the partisan crowd doesn’t want any other message to be disseminated except their own. How freedom minded of them!

  8. “This inspired the partisan crowd to attempt to block the conservative messages in what quickly became a cat-and-mouse game.”

    So the partisan crowd doesn’t want any other message to be disseminated except their own. How freedom minded of them!

  9. The DA is going to be given a chance to rebut the charges but what the activists have achieved is access to communications and other things that really ought to be more accessible public records.

    BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.

  10. The DA is going to be given a chance to rebut the charges but what the activists have achieved is access to communications and other things that really ought to be more accessible public records.

    BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.

  11. The DA is going to be given a chance to rebut the charges but what the activists have achieved is access to communications and other things that really ought to be more accessible public records.

    BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.

  12. The DA is going to be given a chance to rebut the charges but what the activists have achieved is access to communications and other things that really ought to be more accessible public records.

    BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.

  13. “BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.”

    That is one of the reasons I am a faithful reader of this blog. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. It cannot be meted out only when it suits. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech for everyone. Keep up the good work!

  14. “BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.”

    That is one of the reasons I am a faithful reader of this blog. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. It cannot be meted out only when it suits. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech for everyone. Keep up the good work!

  15. “BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.”

    That is one of the reasons I am a faithful reader of this blog. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. It cannot be meted out only when it suits. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech for everyone. Keep up the good work!

  16. “BTW, I am in complete agreement with you on the free speech issue. I’m a believer that both sides should make their best case and the people ought to decide. I was disappointed to see that occurring which is one of the reasons I took the time to point it out and show the pictures.”

    That is one of the reasons I am a faithful reader of this blog. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. It cannot be meted out only when it suits. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech for everyone. Keep up the good work!

  17. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    –Richard Estes

  18. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    –Richard Estes

  19. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    –Richard Estes

  20. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    –Richard Estes

  21. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    Reisig’s DA department has already demonstrated ample “foot in mouth” ineptitude. Don’t be surprised if there really IS something in the emails and other communications.

  22. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    Reisig’s DA department has already demonstrated ample “foot in mouth” ineptitude. Don’t be surprised if there really IS something in the emails and other communications.

  23. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    Reisig’s DA department has already demonstrated ample “foot in mouth” ineptitude. Don’t be surprised if there really IS something in the emails and other communications.

  24. it’s not 50/50 whether this case goes forward

    don’t be surprised if the charges are dropped within 2 to 3 weeks

    Reisig’s DA department has already demonstrated ample “foot in mouth” ineptitude. Don’t be surprised if there really IS something in the emails and other communications.