Student protesters arrested at the University of B.C. were released from jail yesterday, vowing to fight criminal charges and demanding an inquest into what they called police brutality.
Fire crews and police were called to the campus on Friday night when protesters, opposed to the demolition of the grassy knoll outside the Student Union Building, started a bonfire.
The popular green spot is slated to become an underground bus loop.
RCMP Const. Annie Linteau said students prevented fire crews from putting out the fire, and when two protesters became “combative and resisted arrest” they were handcuffed and put in a police car.
The group then locked arms and encircled the vehicle.
Nineteen people were arrested and are facing charges of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer.
But a statement distributed by UBC’s Students For A Democratic Society and Trek Park For The People called the actions of the police an“uncalled (for) act of aggression.”
It alleges that one student, Stefanie Ratjen, was grabbed by an officer pinned to the ground in a puddle of mud and handcuffed.
Steven Klein, a member of Students For A Democratic Society, said police threatened to use police dogs and Tasers on the “peaceful protesters.”
“They also indiscriminately arrested many bystanders, including an individual who stumbled upon the scene while biking home,” he said.
Arrested demonstrators will appear in a Richmond court on April 15.
UBC students demanding an inquest
Student protesters arrested at the University of B.C. were releasedfrom jail yesterday, vowing to fight criminal charges and demanding aninquest into what they called police brutality.