Vandals Hit UC Berkeley Building and Surrounding Neighborhood

February 28, 2010 Updated: February 28, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif.—Extensive vandalism of a UC Berkeley campus building and nearby establishments resulted in two arrests early Friday morning.

During the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 26, what began as a dance party to gain support for upcoming March 4 statewide protests against massive education budget cuts escalated into a violent riot. It ended with the vandalism and occupation of Durant Hall, according to the UC Berkeley newspaper, The Daily Californian.

UC Berkeley students began dancing on the outdoor Upper Sproul Plaza on campus Thursday night and shifted to Durant Hall, which houses the university’s East Asian Library and is undergoing renovation.

More than 100 people broke into Durant Hall, after cutting the locks on the south gates. The group continued to party and vandalized the interior and exterior of the building. They broke several windows, sprayed graffiti, overturned portable toilets, and ripped several holes into the newly refinished walls, according to the university.

The group also broke the windows of a local eatery, set garbage cans on fire, and threw bottles at police. Later, dozens from the group continued a path of destruction, setting a University Art Museum trash bin on fire.

Berkeley police responded to the incidents and were finally able to disperse protesters by 4 a.m. Friday with the help of Oakland police and the California Highway Patrol.

Police arrested Marika Goodrich (a UC Berkeley student) and Zachary Miller (a former student at the university). Both have been charged with inciting a riot, obstructing an officer, and other crimes. They are being held on $32,500 and $22,500 bail respectively.

The vandalized Durant Hall site has been secured, and the contractor is assessing the damage, according to the UC Berkeley Facilities Services.

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