Another arson at UC Berkeley, 'student intifada' takes credit

Activists said they "unloaded a firebomb" at UC Berkeley due to UC's "treatment of student protestors." UC must divest "or face our wrath."

Another arson at UC Berkeley, 'student intifada' takes credit
Koshland Hall at UC Berkeley (file photo). UC Berkeley Department of Plant Biology

For the second time this month, UC Berkeley police are investigating a report of arson that may be linked to Palestinian protest activities.

The University of California Police Department has said little about the investigation this week.

According to police and public records, the arson took place outside Koshland Hall, which is located on the northwest corner of campus, at Hearst Avenue not far from Oxford Street.

On Thursday afternoon, UCPD sent out a brief alert about the arson at Koshland Hall, saying only that it had been reported at about noon and was "under investigation."

Police have shared no subsequent information about the incident despite repeated inquiries.

According to a UCPD crime log reviewed by The Scanner, the incident took place Thursday shortly after 4 a.m.

"We unloaded a firebomb" at UC Berkeley

Multiple readers contacted The Scanner on Thursday about a short post on the Indybay activist website taking credit for the arson at UC Berkeley.

The post was entitled, "UCLA Students Were Attacked Last Night So We Retaliated With a Firebomb on UCB Campus."

The author of the post, which went up shortly after 6 a.m., was listed only as "student intifada."

"NOT SURE WHAT BUILDING IT EVEN WAS. HONESTLY DONT REALLY CARE," the author wrote in capital letters. "EVERY SINGLE BUILDING ON THE UC BERKELEY CAMPUS DESERVES TO BE INCINERATED FOLLOWING THE UC SYSTEM'S TREATMENT OF STUDENT PROTESTORS."

The complete post by student intifada about the reported UC Berkeley firebomb attack. Indybay

The author wrote that a student activist at UCLA had been attacked Wednesday night while using a megaphone.

"SO WE UNLOADED A FIREBOMB ON THE SIDE OF A CAMPUS BUILDING," the Indybay post reads. "THE FLAME WAS BIG AND SPREAD ACROSS THE TREES AND BUSHES ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING."

The author continued: "UC SYSTEM MUST DIVEST FROM ISRAEL OR FACE OUR WRATH OF REVENGE BLESSED IS THE FLAME."

The details of the megaphone incident were unclear as of publication time, but there were widespread reports of arrests at UCLA on Monday related to Gaza protest activities.

The university also said six police officers and a security guard were injured during that demonstration.

UC Berkeley police car burned earlier this month

A UC Berkeley police vehicle was set on fire in early June. Ariel Nava Photo

In early June, an anonymous individual took credit for setting a police car on fire at UC Berkeley "in solidarity" with the Palestinian cause.

According to the anonymous statement, which was posted on the Abolition Media website, "an incendiary device was placed below a UC Berkeley police vehicle parked in front of UCPD station. The device was lit underneath the back left wheel of a police SUV, placed between the tire and underside of fuel tank."

UC Berkeley officials have declined to comment on that matter and referred all inquiries to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Since then, no arrests have been reported and state authorities have repeatedly said no updates are available.

UCPD asked anyone with information about that case to contact the state Arson and Bomb Unit at arsonbomb@fire.ca.gov or 213-302-5855.

UC Berkeley police car burned, possibly in support of Palestine
UC Berkeley officials declined to comment on the matter and referred all inquiries to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

This week, UC Berkeley police asked anyone with information about the arson at Koshland Hall, or "any recent similar incidents" to call UCPD at 510-642-6760.

"Report all fires, no matter how small, to the local fire department, and request they come to investigate suspicious fires for possible arson," UCPD wrote. "If you’re a bystander and see someone behaving in a way that seems suspicious, step in and do something about it. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe confronting them, call 911."

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