Charges Against Union Demonstrator Dropped

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All charges against David Cole, UC Berkeley (UCB) union worker, were dropped by the Alameda county prosecutor’s office on March 1, according to an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 3299 Facebook post. UCB police violently arrested Cole for throwing a sign at a car during an AFSCME 3299 protest for which he was charged with vandalism and resisting arrest on Feb. 1.

Throughout February, AFSCME launched the hashtag #JusticeForCole2018 and organized protests against anti-Black policies at the UC. AFSCME is the largest union representing over 24,000 UC workers throughout the 10 campuses.

“We must remain vigilant and continue to put pressure on UC to secure social and economic justice for the entire UC community. #JusticeForCole2018 #3299Strong,” AFSCME said in its Facebook post.

UCB was unable to comment on Cole’s release as it is considered a personal matter, and it is unclear when Cole will be returning to his position at the dining hall, said Dan Mogulof, UCB assistant vice chancellor of executive communications in an email.

AFSCME is currently going into contract negotiations with the UC Office of the President for workers’ rights and wages, and Cole’s arrest prompted the union to explicitly add racial justice to its demands.