Friday, November 25, 2005

Hampton University shutting out war protestors!

Drop the Charges and Stop the Harassment Against the Hampton University Students Against the Bush Regime!

Students who act as part of the national movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime because The World Can’t Wait, especially when they remain firm in the face of police harassment and administrative threats, are heroic, must be defended, and their example must be followed by many others.

Students at Hampton University took part in the November 2nd launch of a movement to drive out the Bush regime. In the course of organizing, they were followed by campus police, targeted by video surveillance, and forced to turn over their ID’s for the simple act of distributing literature. That these students were targeted for the content of their activities is clearly demonstrated by the fact that other students routinely post unauthorized flyers (often with scantily clad women advertising parties) without any harassment. On Friday, November 18th, weeks after November 2nd, 3 student organizers were issued summons for a hearing over possible expulsion the following Monday morning, giving them no time during the work week to contact lawyers, parents, or campus administrators. After hundreds of phone-calls from around the country to the Dean’s Office, their hearing was postponed. Days later, 3 more students were issued summons and campus police shut down an interview being filmed by the local media, attempting to prevent their story from getting out.

The attacks on the student organizers at Hampton University, a historically black college with a mostly Republican administration, is an ugly harbinger of the “dissent-free” future the Bush regime is trying to lock into place.

These attacks are part of a pattern of repression against high school and college students nation-wide on November 2nd that disproportionately targeted black, Latino and other oppressed students.

A standard cannot be set where the President of the United States can stay on vacation as a major city’s poor and Black people are left for five days without food or water, where influential friends of this President are allowed to float out genocidal notions of aborting all Black babies to bring crime rates down, and where the President’s policies of “abstinence-only” in the face of an international AIDS pandemic threaten millions of lives, but where students who dare to speak the truth about this and act to end this are silenced and expelled from school.

As it says in the Call for The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime, "This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will to try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop."

We, the undersigned, demand that the Hampton University administration to drop all charges against, cease their political harassment of, and to apologize to these students. These students must not be expelled! We also call on students at campuses nation-wide to send statements of support, and to join, strengthen and support the movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime because the World Can’t Wait!

Sunsara Taylor, co-initiator of World Can't Wait
Allen Lang, national student organizer, World Can't Wait
Howard Zinn, Historian and Author

Demand that the 3 students facing expulsion (Aaron Ray, Sheridan Owens, and Verness Hunt) be cleared of any disciplinary measures and intimidation and punishment for student protests stop! Call the Dean of Men (Woodson Hopewell Jr.) at 757-727-5303, the Dean of Women at 757-727-5486

From World Can't Wait

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