A broken light in front of chancellor's home (Courtesy Noah Berger, AP)
A broken light in front of chancellor’s home (Courtesy Noah Berger, AP)
A broken light in front of chancellor’s home (Courtesy Noah Berger, AP)

State and university officials are condemning a Friday night attack on the home of the UC Berkeley Chancellor.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called the 11:15 pm incident, in which eight people were arrested, “an act of terrorism”.

“California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any leaders, including educators,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement released Saturday.

A crowd of 75 people swarmed the campus home of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau around 11:15 pm Friday night, breaking glass fixtures, overturning planters and deeply frightening the chancellor and his wife.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“The crowd chanted, “No justice, no peace,” and began smashing planters, windows and lights. Several hurled their torches at the building,” said campus spokesman Dan Mogulof.

Birgeneau was sleeping at the time and was awakened by his wife, Mary Catherine, Mogulof said. They were frightened, but unharmed, he said.

“These are criminals, not activists,” Birgeneau said in a statement. “The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives. The people involved in this action will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I want to emphasize that they represent an extreme minority of our students.”

The attack came after police arrested 66 people Fiday morning for occupying Wheeler Hall.

UC President Mark Yudof, who has also been confronted many times by protesters, also criticized the attack.

“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.”

It was the most violent attack on the chancellor’s home since 1992, when an woman broke into the home and was shot and killed by an Oakland police officer.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...