10 Cleared in Protest Arrests at UC Berkeley
A jury has acquitted 10 protesters charged with blocking the entrance to a building at the University of California during April demonstrations against the university’s business ties to South Africa.
Prosecutor Greg Bailey attributed Thursday’s verdict to Judge Kenneth Chotiner, who instructed jurors to balance free speech against the value of laws against blocking entrances.
The jury could not decide whether the protesters should be convicted on charges of resisting arrest and was dismissed after deliberating nine hours.
The four-week trial grew out of demonstrations by thousands of protesters against the university’s investments in South Africa-related businesses and financial institutions because of apartheid, South Africa’s system of racial segregation.