Vandalized building front
An anarchist group claimed responsibility for vandalizing UC system headquarters in Oakland on May 12, 2024. (Photo/Indybay.com)

Group boasts of vandalism, roach release at UC offices as act of ‘resistance’

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

A radical group that identifies as “anti-colonial anarchists and communists” boasted online that it shattered seven windows and emptied two paint-filled fire extinguishers at the University of California system’s headquarters in downtown Oakland just after midnight on Sunday.

The group also claimed a bizarre act, saying it had released 500 cockroaches in the building to show “solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance.”

A spokesperson for Michael V. Drake, president of the 10-campus UC system, confirmed vandalism to the building but did not respond to a question regarding the alleged release of roaches.

The group also claimed it attacked the president’s office, but Drake’s executive suite is on the 12th floor and the vandalism was confined to the ground floor.

“We are working with law enforcement to investigate the incident,” the UC spokesperson said Tuesday in an email to J.

The Oakland Police Department told J. in a statement that it is investigating the vandalism as a hate-related incident, noting that “multiple individuals used an object to break windows before throwing paint on the walls. The individuals then left the area on foot.”

A statement purporting to be from the vandals was published online at 12:43 a.m. Tuesday and signed cryptically as “sacred black and red.” The vandals published photos and wrote that they used a fire extinguisher filled with red paint to cover the building’s facade. The reported damage didn’t stop there, though.

“With access to the building, we released 500 cockroaches inside and emptied a second fire extinguisher onto the interior. We finalized the act by leaving a water jug inscribed with ‘Bonk’ at the scene — an homage to the militants of Cal Poly Humboldt and the international student encampment movement,” they wrote.

The vandals claim to have attacked the offices to support the “children of Gaza” and “martyrs.”

“We offer this act of material and spiritual solidarity with the hopes of shattering the illusion that resistance is limited to a single site,” their statement said.

The vandalism comes after the UC president’s office announced on May 5 that it had hired a firm to lead an independent investigation of the violence that took place at the UCLA pro-Palestinian tent encampment the previous week.

The group that took credit for the vandalism at the UC headquarters said it views the UC system as “nothing more than a settler colonial project” that “does not simply fund Israel, it creates Israel.”

The online post continued with a demand to abolish the UC system, noting that any calls for its campuses to divest from Israel don’t go far enough.

Jew,  Jewish,  J. The Jewish News of Northern California
Emma Goss.(Photo/Aaron Levy-Wolins)
Emma Goss

Emma Goss is a J. staff writer. She is a Bay Area native and an alum of Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School and Kehillah Jewish High School. Emma also reports for NBC Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter @EmmaAudreyGoss.