Archive for the ‘Solidarity’ Category

Support the ACAC19

19 December 2012

On Saturday, October 6th, some 150 demonstrators converged on the Financial District of San Francisco against Columbus Day. The demonstration was announced as an anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism convergence. A short rally discussing decolonization preceded a march through Market street. However, within 15 minutes of the beginning of the march, riot police responded to a smattering of property destruction targeting banks and corporate chains by rushing the crowd of marchers. The resulting scuffle ended in 19 arrests. In an effort to ostracize the arrestees, police released photos of arrestees to local newspapers to distribute. Since the arrests, the police have subpoenaed the twitter accounts of two arrestees. The Anti-Colonialism, Anti-Capitalism Nineteen or ACAC19 are requesting that supporters contact the district attorney and demand all charges be dropped.

from SupportTheACAC19:

Recently San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Y.S. Cheng denied demurrers for all but one defendant of the ACAC 19 signaling that the case will most likely go to trial in the coming months. This week we are asking all supporters to fax and call San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón, starting Monday, December 17th to demand that all charges be dropped against the ACAC 19. (more…)

A Closer Look at one of the Santa Cruz 11

17 June 2012

from SantaCruz11:

Desiree Foster, the youngest of the Santa Cruz Eleven, was arrested on February 8th as she and her boyfriend were leaving her home on her way to the Santa Cruz Courthouse in an attempt to quash her arrest warrant by agreeing to appear in court on a certain date. Instead, she spent the next nine hours sitting on plastic seating watching a deputy-controlled television set, having been arrested for two felony counts, conspiracy and vandalism, and two misdemeanor counts of trespass, with bail set at $5,000. Her mother, suffering from cancer, attempted to raise the $500 to bail out her daughter, when, inexplicably, Desiree was released on her own recognizance.

But the pressure of the felony charges, the financial instability of her family, and the fear and dread that she faced in dealing with her mother’s cancer, proved to be too much. Desiree took an overdose of pills and wound up in Dominican Hospital, treated for a suicide attempt.

Desiree, a passionate and idealistic young woman, had found her voice attending Occupy Santa Cruz general assemblies, and volunteered for many tasks. At home, she and her mother struggled to pay bills. Desiree is her mother’s primary caregiver, as she undergoes chemotherapy. Desiree, like many in her generation, knew that something is inherently wrong with our system if she and her mother had to struggle to keep a roof over their heads while her mom was being treated for cancer. She lived in a world where with or without a college education, young people could not find good jobs. Read more.

————–

A BENEFIT DINNER on SUNDAY JULY 1st to raise money for Desiree Foster’s family will be held at India Joze Restaurant in Santa Cruz between 3PM and 6PM. The first $500 raised will be designated to help the Foster family.

Re-Admit Tomas to UC Davis

18 April 2012

from Davis Anti-Repression:

A UC Davis undergraduate in art studio was arrested early Saturday morning, 17 March, in his dorm room, by members of both the UC Davis and City of Davis Police. He was charged with Felony Vandalism and held in jail over the weekend and into finals week; his school supplies, phone and computer were all confiscated. With no access to his contacts nor warning of the arrest, he was unable to contact legal representation. Incommunicado in jail, he was unable to take final exams, and was only bailed out (for $20,000) when concerned friends began looking for him after he had been missing for days. UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs, which initiated the warrant for his arrest, didn’t bother to notify his home department, his family, friends, or professors to let them know the student’s whereabouts.

Several weeks later, both Student Judicial Affairs and Student Housing threatened him with disciplinary measures including eviction and expulsion, in addition to the criminal charges they initiated through Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig. The student, who entered UCD as a transfer student last fall, has since been expelled based on poor academic performance, on top of criminal charges that may carry a 3-4 year sentence and $10,000 fine. As a student prominently involved with Occupy UC Davis, arrested during the pepper spray incident on Nov. 18, 2011, these charges appear to be a means to intimidate and punish him for political activism.

The charges against this student-activist are in line with the ongoing and systematic police and legal repression of the Occupy movement. Threatening people with inflated or trumped-up charges, a familiar tactic in many vulnerable communities, is now increasingly wielded as a strategy to chill political dissent on campuses — a way of exacting punishment in jail time, legal expenses, and interference with other obligations before the opportunity for trial. “This is the new de facto regime of guilty until proven innocent, and it should be opposed by every decent person,” said Joshua Clover, a professor at Davis. The university News Service, which reports directly to Chancellor Katehi, has already expressed its enthusiasm for engaging “law enforcement to prosecute proven violations” — seeming to misunderstand the legal relation of trials, proof, and guilt almost entirely, with harmful consequences for students.

The Reynoso Task Force Report on the UCD Pepper Spray Incident just last week verified that the administration’s unfounded hysteria regarding the Occupy movement resulted in their extralegal use of force against student activists. Importantly, the Reynoso Report also underscored the need for campus authorities to handle student political protest through already established, appropriate channels; namely through the SJA and Student Affairs—and not by means of police and criminal charges.

We urge the UCD campus community and the general public to reject categorically the administration’s use of legal maneuvering to suppress political dissent.

Bring a cushion, 5,000 friends, your favorite textbook, and a colorful sign to the Office of Letters and Sciences [at 1:30pm, Thursday]! We’re going to meet at the building’s ground level entrance. If you can’t attend this event, support Tomas at his arraignment this Friday: https://www.facebook.com/events/217176528382173/

FREE TOMAS! WE DEMAND HIS IMMEDIATE RE-ADMITTANCE!

Update:

After a student and faculty sit-in, Tomas was readmitted.

Related:

Letter of Solidarity with the Davis Dozen from their UC Berkeley Counterparts

5 April 2012

from UC Chilling Effects:

Last week, 12 students and professors were notified by the Yolo County District Attorney that they were being charged in relation to the blockade of an on-campus bank at UC Davis.  Protesters had blockaded the branch of US Bank in opposition to its exploitation of students at Davis, and the banking industry’s profit-taking through increasing student debt and rising tuition in general.  The protests were successful in getting the bank to close its doors and void its contract with UC Davis. Now, almost a month after the protests ended, these 12 are being charged with over 20 misdemeanor counts related to the blockades, and the Yolo County DA has indicated it might seek damages of up to $1 million dollars on behalf of the bank.

As the recipients of a similar set of belated charges from the Alameda County DA, brought against us in relations to the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley, when students tried to set up a small “Occupy” encampment there and were viciously beaten by the police, we want to extend our solidarity to the 12 protesters charged. We condemn this opportunism on the behalf of UC Davis police and administration. They are clearly using the Yolo County DA to accomplish repression which they feel they are unable to undertake on their own, after the widespread public outrage at their behavior last fall, when sitting protesters were serially and vindictively pepper-sprayed.  That incident, captured on video and viewed millions of times the world over, became an international symbol of the brutality of US police.

In a talk given last year, UC Irvine Professor Rei Terada reflected on the fallout from the UC Berkeley and UC Davis incidents by predicting that, in the immediate future, campuses were not likely to resort to “the kind of violence you can photograph.” The developments at Davis and Berkeley have proven her remarks uncannily prescient. Afraid of public outrage and its endangerment of their jobs, UC administrators and police departments have farmed out the job of repressing students to local prosecutors. This allows the campus administrators to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the charges, claiming such matters entirely outside of their jurisdiction, even though in all of these cases charges could not have been brought without the active encouragement and collaboration of campus police. And so we see that, at Berkeley, Chancellor Birgeneau claims that he knew nothing about the charges filed against UC Berkeley protesters, even though his police department had forwarded to the DA specific recommendations to charge all 13 people. Either Birgeneau is not telling the truth or UC police acted, in this matter, without his oversight. Both are evidence of incompetence. At Davis, Chancellor Katehi, who nearly lost her job after the pepper-spray incident, instructed her police department to avoid confrontation and let protesters continuously blockade the US Bank branch for close to eight weeks, without ever arresting any of them. But, wanting to have it both ways, her police then forwarded the cases to the Yolo County DA.

The last year has seen a remarkable flourishing of protest and resistance in this country. Hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity to experiment with new tactics and ideas. But this has also been a time of experiment and innovation for police forces and the courts, which have used the protests as a chance to deploy new weapons, and practice with new techniques of control and containment, as well as set new legal precedents which allow for greater repressive powers. This recent round of “jail-mail” might seem limited in scope but it sets the precedent for a future world where, based upon omnipresent surveillance, anybody who attends a protest might become the subject of a criminal complaint months or even years later.

We understand this development not as the exception to the rule but rather the confirmation of a general trend toward the continuous expansion of the powers of the state, where civil disobedience-style tactics which, in other times and other jurisdictions, might be treated as mere infractions are met with the threat of jail-time and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We hope that all sane people will stand with us in calling on the Yolo County DA to drop the charges.

written by several of those charged for the events of Nov. 9

(via Cuntrastamu!)

Oakland: Donate to #J28 Arrestee

26 March 2012

On January 28th, Occupy Oakland hosted a “move-in day” in order to occupy a building to turn it into a community center. The police intervened and refused demonstrators access to the building. After returning to Oscar Grant Plaza and regrouping for a few hours, demonstrators initiated a second march to take over another potential space. However, the police increased their hostility towards demonstrators and repeatedly blocked the march through downtown Oakland. Eventually, the police kettled (surrounded) some 400 marchers and arrested them without reading a dispersal order. The kettle occurred in front of a YMCA building, where some staffers opened the doors to a handful of marchers wary of police violence. The police followed those individuals into the building and subsequently arrested them, charging them with audacious claims of felony burglary.

Among a number of stories that emerged from jailed demonstrators concerning denials of prescription medication include Laura Em. Charged with felonies, Laura faced spending an unknown number of days in jail without necessary medications refused to her by Santa Rita sheriffs. Facing this difficult decision, she opted to bail herself out, costing her some $4,000. She is in need of financial support. Please consider donating!

DONATE HERE

Donate to Sacramento AntiFa Arrestees

2 March 2012

from Cuntrastamu!:

DONATE

Eric Desousa, along with two other comrades, was arrested at an Antifa action in Sacramento on Monday Feb 27, protesting neo-Nazis at the state capital.

He has been charged with six different counts, and multiples of some. His bail has gone from $30K the day of his arrest to $100K as of today. Video has surfaced showing he is innocent of the charges they are sticking him with — he is clearly being made an example of.

Eric really needs our help. We need to get him out so that he doesn’t have to sit in the horrid conditions at the Sacramento jail until his trial. Please donate today.

Read more:

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

19 November 2011

18 November 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them. (more…)

Letter of Solidarity from Mexico to Oakland

17 November 2011

Compañerxs,

Hace unos días, hicimos circular esta carta invitando a compas en México a sumarse a una campaña de solidaridad con el movimiento de Occupy Oakland, en California, EEUU.
El 10 de noviembre la Comuna de Oakland cumplió un mes, y en las últimas semanas ha surgido como un espacio muy importante de resistencia y organización autónoma en una ciudad emblemática por su fuerte legado de militancia y activismo anticapitalista. Después del primer intento de desalojo del acampe el 25 de octubre, miles de personas marcharon y la policia respondió con brutal represión, usando “armas químicas” contra los manifestantes. El 26 de octubre después de otra marcha, en la Asamblea General de Occupy Oakland 3000 personas aprobaron una huelga general para el 2 de noviembre. El 2 de noviembre, la Huelga General de Oakland (la primera desde 1946), fue un enorme éxito, logrando bloquear el Puerto de Oakland y contando con la participación de más de 50.000 personas. Desde entonces, el movimiento de Occupy Oakland sigue resistiendo, junto con movimientos relacionados en todo el mundo, y estamos muy preocupados por la posibilidad de otro intento de desalojo y más represión en los próximos días. Por eso, sentimos que es muy importante mandar este saludo solidario a nuestros compañeros del Otro Lado, para mostrar nuestro apoyo.

Saludos rebeldes,
jóvenes en resistencia alternativa

English

Comrades,
A few days ago, we sent out this letter inviting comrades in Mexico to join our campaign in solidarity with the Occupy Oakland movement, in California, USA. On November 20, the Oakland Commune celebrated its one-month birthday, and in the past few weeks this movement has emerged as an important site of autonomous resistance and organization, in a city emblematic with a strong legacy of militancy and anticapitalist activism. After the first attempt by the police to evict the camp on October 25, thousands took to the streets marching in protest and the police responded with brutal repression, using “chemical weapons” against the protesters. On October 26, following a second march, at the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland 3000 people approved a call for a General Strike on November 2. The Oakland General Strike on November 2 (the first in the city since 1946) was an overwhelming success, blockading the Port of Oakland, with more than 50,000 people participating. Since then, the Occupy Oakland movement continues to resist, alongside related movements throughout the world, and we are very concerned by the possibility of anothet eviction attempt and more repression in the coming days. For these reasons, we feel it is extremely important to send this message of solidarity to our comrades on the Other Side of the border, to show our support.

Saludos rebeldes,
jóvenes en resistencia alternativa

[The letter continues here.]

Letter from Cairo

25 October 2011

A bit delayed due to the #OccupyOakland raid, here is a letter we received from some folks in Cairo, Egypt:

To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “The Arab Spring” has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a System that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next econo mic development or urban renewal scheme.

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy , real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

In our own occupations of Tahrir, we encountered people entering the Square every day in tears because it was the first time they had walked through those streets and spaces without being harassed by police; it is not just the ideas that are important, these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces for gathering, leisure, meeting, and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities. Where the state and the interests of owners have made them inaccessible, exclusive or dangerous, it is up to us to make sure that they are safe, inclusive and just. We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalized, excluded and for those groups who have suffered the worst .

What you do in these spaces is neither as grandiose and abstract nor as quotidian as “real democracy”; the nascent forms of praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform. They must continue because we are creating what we can no longer wait for.

But the ideologies of property and propriety will manifest themselves again. Whether through the overt opposition of property owners or municipalities to your encampments or the more subtle attempts to control space through traffic regulations, anti-camping laws or health and safety rules. There is a direct conflict between what we seek to make of our cities and our spaces and what the law and the systems of policing standing behind it would have us do.

We faced such direct and indirect violence , and continue to face it . Those who said that the Egyptian revolution was peaceful did not see the horrors that police visited upon us, nor did they see the resistance and even force that revolutionaries used against the police to defend their tentative occupations and spaces: by the government’s own admission; 99 police stations were put to the torch, thousands of police cars were destroyed, and all of the ruling party’s offices around Egypt were burned down. Barricades were erected, officers were beaten back and pelted with rocks even as they fired tear gas and live ammunition on us. But at the end of the day on the 28th of January they retreated, and we had won our cities.

It is not our desire to participate in violence, but it is even less our desire to lose.

If we do not resist, actively, when they come to take what we have won back, then we will surely lose. Do not confuse the tactics that we used when we shouted “peaceful” with fetishizing nonviolence; if the state had given up immediately we would have been overjoyed, but as they sought to abuse us, beat us, kill us, we knew that there was no other option than to fight back. Had we laid down and allowed ourselves to be arrested, tortured, and martyred to “make a point”, we would be no less bloodied, beaten and dead. Be prepared to defend these things you have occupied, that you are building, because, after everything else has been taken from us, these reclaimed spaces are so very precious.

By way of concluding then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus, and democracy. Discover new ways to use these spaces, discover new ways to hold on to them and never give them up again. Resist fiercely when you are under attack, but otherwise take pleasure in what you are doing, let it be easy, fun even. We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.

Comrades from Cairo.
24th of October, 2011.

Calling for Tolman Hall Witnesses

6 October 2011

On September 22nd, during the Day of Action demonstration at University of California Berkeley, two people were arrested and have been charged with misdemeanors by the Alameda District Attorney’s Office. Drew Phillips, 25, was arrested and charged with battery on a peace officer with injury, wearing a mask in a commission of a crime and resisting arrest. The incident took place at the entrance to Tolman Hall after police rushed the demonstrators and pepper-sprayed a number of students. His lawyer, John Hamasaki is looking for anyone who witnessed the incident or has any photos or videos of the incident. Contact him at john {at} hamasakilaw [dot] com

Similarly, Richard Dereck Clemons was arrested at Tolman Hall in the East Wing and is charged with Battery on Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest, Escape from Custody, all misdemeanors. Anyone with any information should email: m.kamran {at} bourdonlaw [dot] com

In Need of Witnesses

12 July 2011

Last Fall, on November 17th, 2010, the UC Regents voted to increase student fees; students and workers turned out to demonstrate against the Regents’ harmful decisions. On this day several arrests were made of student demonstrators including notably Peter Howell and Eric Wilson. Howell was arrested after one police officer lost control of his baton and drew his pistol on a crowd of protesting students, while Wilson was arrested after an incident in a stairwell. Both Howell and Wilson have been met with serious charges (see below), and have had their lives considerably disturbed by these series of events. They go to court in less than two weeks and they are both in desperate need of witnesses of their respective incidents to testify at the trials. Their legal counsel expect the trial to last approximately a week, and have confirmed that it will take place in San Francisco. Please leave a comment on this blog and leave your contact information if you witnessed these incidents. Your contact information will be forwarded to Howell and Wilson’s legal counsel, and will otherwise remain confidential*. If you know people that attended the November 17th, 2010 Regents’ Meeting protest, please forward them this link and spread the word!

Read more:

Peter Howell is charged with:

1) Penal Code section 148(b): removal of baton from Officer Kemper

2) Penal Code section 243(b): battery on a police officer (Kemper)

3) Penal Code section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) Penal Code section 406: Rout: attempted riot

Eric Wilson is charged with:

1) PC section 243(c)(2): battery with injury on an officer (Officer Bolano)

2) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Bolano and Sgt. Acuna)

3) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) PC section 406: Rout: attempted riot.

*Comments must be approved by a moderator before it appears public. So, the comments will remain unpublished.

Sanctions for UCI Sit-in; 1 suspended

31 August 2010

Documents received today from a California Public Records Act request on the student conduct process at UC-Irvine has revealed that 13 students have received informal resolutions for the February sit-in outside Chancellor Drake’s office.  The sit-in demands included a recruitment and retention center, gender-neutral bathrooms, reinstatement of laid-off workers, and the termination of some corporate contracts.

According to the obtained documents (available here), all 13 were found to have violated code sections 102.13, 102.14, 102.15, 102.16, and 102.24 of the UCI student code, for “Disruptive behavior in Aldrich Hall outside of Chancellor’s office; Failure to comply with PR directive to disperse”; this is assumed to correspond with the February 24 sit-in.  12 of the students faced sanctions of probation and restitution, while 1 has been SUSPENDED.  It is unknown what the status of their appeals is.

Here are the alleged code violations:

102.13 Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities.

102.14 Disorderly or lewd conduct.

102.15 Participation in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly.

102.16 Failure to identify oneself to, or comply with the directions of, a University official or other public official acting in the performance of his or her duties while on University property or at official University functions; or resisting or obstructing such University or other public officials in the performance of or the attempt to perform their duties.

102.24 Violation of local, state, or federal laws otherwise not covered under these standards of conduct.

This comes after the decision to suspend the Muslim Student Union for one year and three of the five UCI students charged for participating in the Cal State Fullerton Humanities action received sanctions of one year of disciplinary probation and a research/confession paper.  More UCI students are awaiting meetings with Student Conduct and involuntary resolutions; to the best of our knowledge, at least 28 UCI students are facing student conduct charges.

All student conduct actions are intended to suppress student dissent, and other documents suggest that student conduct officers monitor everything from campus protests to reservations made by activist groups.  But the suspension of an activist for a peaceful sit-in is an outrage matched only by the sanctions that have been, and likely will soon be, taken against MSU for their protest of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

In an initial round of research, we were unable to find a single sit-in–across the country, over the past 40 years–that was punished with suspension.  This includes countless sit-ins over labor struggles and against sweatshops and wars, many of which have been violently evicted by police and nearly all have resulted in arrest.  In fact, we only found record of one sit-in being prosecuted in criminal court: after UNC students sat in for two weeks protesting campus apparel-sourcing policies, 5 were found guilty of minor charges, and the judge stayed each of their sentences.  Even recent sit-ins at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside protesting the univerities’ profiting from sweatshop labor resulted in no criminal charges nor student conduct charges.

We can say with little doubt that this level of persecution violates all historical precedent for responding to student protests, and sets a terrible precedent for future actions against student leaders.  What used to be considered a fundamental right–and a rite of passage–for student activists has now been placed among the gravest of sins by the UCI administration.  Student Conduct Director Edgar Dormitorio has actively collaborated with UCIPD to drum up charges against student activists, with the full complicity of Dean of Students Rameen Talesh, Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez, and Chancellor Michael Drake, while all of them told us repeatedly that they valued protest and sympathized with our grievances.

We will post additional information about how to support these students as we find out more; and ask that you watch out for future updates on this case and the charges against other students.

- UciLeaks

Universidad de San Carlos Occupation

31 August 2010

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – On August 9th, the Students for Autonomy (Estudiantes por la Autonomía, or EPA) occupied part of the University of San Carlos (USAC). Their demand for autonomy and a return to elected student representatives for university governance has faced an onslaught of media and state manipulation and repression. After 23 days, the occupation continues.

Four days ago, a group of medical students in the Autonomous Committee of Medicine (CAM), took over another building, the Centro Universitario Metropolitano (CUM). As a result of the new occupation, a handful professors from the faculty of medicine assaulted students. On the night of August 29th, a couple of students left the CUM building and entered their vehicle to leave. After a confrontation with police, the students lost control of the vehicle and crashed, leaving one student dead and the other critically injured. Read more about the current situation on the EPA’s website, here (en Español).

A video communiqué from the EPA:

An open solidarity letter has been drafted by Cascadia Solidaria in English:

Solidarity with Students for Autonomy, San Carlos University, Guatemala (Estudiantes por la Autonomía, EPA)

As students, workers, and community members in the United States and Canada struggling in defense of public education, we have been immensely strengthened by the example of movements in resistance against the privatization and neoliberalization of higher education across the world: in the Phillippines, in South Africa, in Puerto Rico and El Salvador, in Greece, Austria and various countries in Europe.  Now our solidarity and support turns to Guatemala and Students for Autonomy of the University of San Carlos (Estudiantes por la Autonomia, Universidad de San Carlos, EPA-USAC) and their allies, who have maintained the University under occupation since August 9 in protest against the systematic violation of the USAC’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

We state our support for the principle demands of EPA, and condem the reduction of student votes in the election of the University’s Board of Directors, due to a 2007 decision of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, with the support of the University Administration (Consejo Superior Universitario, CSU).  We support EPA’s opposition to the increase of tuition fees at Guatemala’s only institution of public higher education; as well as the imposition of entrance exams and punitive measures against students who must repeat courses.  Policies which, in addition to increased fees, result in the progressive elitization of public higher education.  We support EPA’s call for the full funding of San Carlos University, as guaranteed by the Guatemalan constitution.

We call on the USAC Administration to negotiate in good faith and immediately implement policies to protect and restore students’ rights and the political autonomy of the University.  We reject the Administration’s calls to confrontation with students who have taken direct action in defense of their rights, and ask that no reprisals be carried out against these students.  We denounce all threats against the students of EPA and their allies, as well as any actions by State security forces which would violate the physical autonomy of San Carlos University.

Public higher education is a right, not a privilege or a private commodity.  We join EPA in calling for Universities which meet public needs and respect the rights of students and workers.

Solidarity with Hunger Strikers

7 May 2010

May 7th, 2010
To the Hunger Strikers at UC Berkeley

In the spring quarter of 2009, students at UC Santa Cruz went on a hunger strike lasting four days. We had a long list of demands because the promise for a better future, for an accessible higher education, is still a privilege reserved for a class of people that can afford it. The UC still remains out of reach for swathes of communities throughout California, and inequality at the university continues to marginalize students, communities of color, students with children, the undocumented community, and workers. I was one of the hunger strikers then and so I would like to send a message to you: that myself and undoubtedly many others at UCSC stand in solidarity with you. (more…)

Early draft of faculty letter slamming UC’s kangaroo court

16 April 2010

Here is an early draft we obtained of the UCSC faculty letter slamming the UC’s kangaroo court process. Over 100 faculty have signed on. We’re working on getting the final version…

12 April 2010

Dear Chancellor Blumenthal:

We write as faculty alarmed by the University’s disciplinary actions regarding the November 19-22 activities in and around Kerr Hall, and more specifically, the “Voluntary Resolution” agreements recently issued to students by Director of Student Judicial Affairs, Doug Zuidema. We worry that the implementation of the student judicial procedure in these cases violates constitutional due process and basic principles of fairness. These disciplinary actions also create a chilling effect on political dissent in the campus community.

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