Arnold Schwarzenegger should have known better than to crash a party full of catty San Francisco Democrats.
Between 40 and 70 protesters angry about budget cuts and fee hikes vandalized Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home on campus at about 11 p.m. Friday night, according to the university.
Birgeneau and his wife said they feared for their lives during the attack.
The group stormed Birgeneau's home on the north side of the campus and smashed planters, windows and lights while shouting, "No justice, no peace," according to the school's Web site. They also reportedly threw flammable objects into the home and at arriving police vehicles.
Eight people were arrested for rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, felony vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, according to UC Berkeley. At least two of the eight arrested are Berkeley students.
"California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any leaders, including educators," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released Saturday.
He added that the incident was a criminal act, and participants will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.
"Debate is the foundation of democracy, and I encourage protestors to find peaceful and productive ways to express their opinions," he said.
University of California President Mark Yudof also offered his support to Birgeneau and his family on Saturday.
"The attack on Chancellor (Robert) Birgeneau's residence late last night was appalling," Yudof said in a prepared statement. "The behavior as described went far beyond the boundaries of public dissent, and such lawlessness cannot be tolerated."
Birgeneau urged community members to find more productive ways of expressing their feelings.
"These are criminals, not activists," Birgeneau said in a statement posted on the university's Web site. "The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives."
The chancellor and his wife will remain living at the home, but with addtional security.
Earlier Friday, 66 protesters who had been occupying Wheeler Hall for several days were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing or resisting arrest.
By the 2010-11 school year, undergraduate fees will increase by more than $2,500, or 32 percent.
Bay City News