Fight Breaks Out in Eshleman Hall Overlooking Israel Liberation Week Concert

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A fight involving several UC Berkeley students broke out Thursday night in Eshleman Hall overlooking a concert promoting Israel Liberation Week on Lower Sproul Plaza.

At about 5:30 p.m., as rap artists performed below, three members of Students for Justice in Palestine hung up two Palestinian flags on the building's second floor balcony, witnesses said. ASUC Senator John Moghtader, former senator Gabe Weiner and Yehuda De sa, a performer at the concert, went up to the balcony in an attempt to remove the flags.

At that point, a fight broke out, witnesses said.

"I went up to the second floor because the message they were sending was an abomination to our national rights," said Weiner, who was handcuffed and later cited with battery by UCPD.

According to police, the fight was related to incidents of vandalism earlier this semester in which a sign promoting Israel was vandalized. That vandalism was followed by graffiti in a classroom in Dwinelle Hall. Those incidents led to tension between Israeli and Palestinian advocacy groups.

Several ASUC officials who witnessed the fight said the three men interrupted ASUC meetings on the second floor in order to reach the balcony.

They added that the fight prompted about four members of the audience to run up to the second floor.

Many senators who saw the fight expressed shock that such an incident would happen among students.

"I'm very strong now in my sentiments in that there should be immediate disciplinary action," said ASUC Senator Kifah Shah. "If it culminates to violence where three members of SJP are hit ... then that's just ridiculous."

Will Kane of The Daily Californian contributed to this report.

Read The Daily Californian Friday for the full story.


Vincent Quan is the university news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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