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34-year-old ‘scholar-activist’ allegedly behind UC Berkeley firebombs charged with felony arson

The 34-year-old self-described “scholar-activist” allegedly behind firebomb incidents at UC Berkeley, purportedly in support of pro-Palestinian protests, has been charged with felony arson.

Casey Goonan was charged by the Alameda County district attorney at his pretrial hearing Thursday, his lawyer Jeff Wozniak told the Daily Californian student newspaper, adding July 2 is the date for a plea entry hearing, calling the charges a “politically motivated prosecution.”

Charging documents posted online show the suspect faces a total of seven counts for various allegations.

Goonan, who earned a doctorate in African American studies from Northwestern University two years ago, is accused of trying to blow up a police car and set fire to various UC Berkeley buildings on several occasions since June 1.

As The College Fix previously reported, the first incident with the police car was credited on social media by “multiple groups” stating the destruction “was done in retaliation against UCPD for their attack on students … on a different campus” — likely UCLA and UC Santa Cruz.

According to a post at Indybay.org, a week and a half later an incendiary device “was unloaded” at a UC Berkeley building, the fire of which “spread across trees and bushes.”

Most recently, on June 16, campus police responded to a fire at the Dwinelle Annex construction site where new housing is being built. However, activists have opposed the project on the “People’s Park” as it has “displaced” myriad homeless individuals.

In a separate post at Indybay.org, “marilyn’s daughters” wrote the fire “was done in retaliation for u.c.pd’s violent assaults on vulnerable student demonstrators and to punish the university of kkkalifornia system for supporting the genocidal zionist-Israel entity.”

Goonan is no stranger to concepts of oppression.

“Goonan was part of the Critical Theory program … during his time at NU, which attempts to analyze ‘power, conflict and crisis.’ He completed his undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside,” the Daily Northwestern student newspaper reported.

The suspect was arrested Monday at his parents’ $1.1 million home in Pleasant Hill, the San Francisco Standard reported, adding:

In online articles, Goonan has described the United States as a “god-awful fascist hell hole” where social injustices are “concealed under the blinders of white supremacist American reason.”

One magazine article titled “Defining Social Reality in a Revolutionary Way” praises the Black Panther Party for establishing “a blueprint for U.S.-based radical organizations experimenting with the scientific, premeditated, and necessarily methodical artistry of social revolution.”

Posts online claiming credit for the torchings point to acts being carried out in protest of the war in Gaza. The Indybay.org post from Sunday titled “retaliation arson attack on construction site at university of kkkalifornia berkeley,” claimed the pro-Palestine group going by the handle Marilyn’s Daughters had looted a university supply building of “thousands of dollars,” firebombed a police car, carried out “experimental burning of dry grass hills on the interior of campus,” torched a building on the campus perimeter, and set fire to a construction site.

“This was done to further retaliate against the UCPD for attacking students at UCSC and UCLA,” the post states.

Another post claiming credit for a firebombing writes, “EVERY SINGLE BUILDING ON THE UC BERKELEY CAMPUS DESERVES TO BE INCINERATED.”

Goonan, of Oakland, has “been linked online to other protest-related activities and at least one resulting arrest in recent years,” the Berkeley Scanner reported.

As Goonan awaits his next court hearing, anti-Israel activists are rallying to support him.

Students for Justice in Palestine wore “free Casey Goonan” shirts during a demonstration demanding he be released from jail.

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine is calling on officials to “free” him.

“Even if Cagey G. is innocent, the entire Palestine solidarity movement must support them as if they truly did take bold and heroic actions to protect millions of lives,” the group stated in an Instagram post.

Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman, told Campus Reform the university is “aware of the social media posts and this is being taken very, very seriously.”

MORE: U. Arizona professors: Hamas not terrorists, just an anti-Zionist ‘resistance’ group

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.