Proactive mediation more helpful than reactive

A University of California report released May 4th recommends mediation over law enforcement, and better training for school police, after the institution received heavy criticism of the force - including batons and pepper spray - used during protests on its campuses last year.

The UC report lists 50 policy recommendations to help guide the 10-campus system’s future responses to protests, calling for a more measured response that relies on discussion at the beginning of a possible dispute in an effort to avoid the need for police.

"Mediation is most helpful when used proactively rather than reactively," said UWWM attorney Sandra Upchurch. "Occupy-related protests should have taken no one by surprise at UC’s Berkeley and Davis campuses.  The time to call in the mediators was when the movement began elsewhere.  Mediation could have taken the form of facilitated town hall/student meetings to flush out issues and encourage intellectual debate so that those frustrated had an outlet to vent their feelings and opinions."




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