American Jewish Committee (AJC) is calling on the Alameda County District Attorney and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct criminal investigations into an anti-Jewish riot that occurred at UC Berkeley on Monday evening at an event featuring an Israeli speaker. News reports describe a siege of the building, with the mob attempting a break-in, breaking a door and window in the process. Attendees were spat at while being bombarded with antisemitic hate speech.

In his letter to Alameda County DA Pamela Price, AJC Chief Legal Officer Marc Stern notes, “[t]he tactics adopted by the rioters at Berkeley are more reminiscent of the tactics of the Brownshirts or Communists in the inter-war period than they are of Berkeley’s free speech movement of the 1960’s. They should be treated accordingly. Political violence should not be tolerated, no matter what point on the political compass it springs from.”

In his letter to DOJ Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, he states that “[w]hat happened at Berkeley was a direct assault on American democracy and cannot go unchallenged and uninvestigated.” 

AJC is currently supporting students who are leading advocacy for UC Berkeley’s Jewish community as they work to create an environment that allows the campus Jewish community to not only feel safe, but also thrive. 

In calling on DA Price to investigate, AJC is urging that “the full weight of the criminal law must be brought to bear against those who organized and participated in this riot.”

AJC is calling on the DOJ Civil Rights Division to “deploy the full resources of the Department of Justice to identify and prosecute those responsible for this outrage” noting that “[a]lthough the University has promised an investigation, it lacks the resources of an agency with criminal investigative powers and capabilities. Federal law limits the University’s ability to name names, so the public will largely be left to speculate on who was responsible for the outrageous events, and whether they have been sufficiently punished—and others deterred—by University sanctions.”

You can read the letter to DA Price here and Asst. Attorney General Clarke here.


AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit



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