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Archive for March, 2008

UNCA Walked Out!

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Over 60 students walked out of classes here at UNC-Asheville on Thursday, March 20th, to answer the national call to action from Students for a Democratic Society. They were joined by members of the community, as well as members of the WNC Peace Coalition, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, No More Victims, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization for a march downtown and a rally at Pack Square. These organizations made up the Asheville March 20 Coalition, organized by UNCA SDS. Leaders from all of these organizations spoke at the rally downtown.

Angela Denio spoke to the rally on behalf of UNCA SDS. In her speech to the assembled crowd she noted, “Almost 4000 American soldiers have died in this war. 1.2 million Iraqi people have died. Beyond this there is mass displacement- 4 million refugees.”

She also said, “59% of Americans think the United States should end the occupation of Iraq. And the majority of Iraqis definitely think the US should be out now. When will this government listen? The main thing that will make them hear–that will force them to leave–is when the heroic Iraqi national resistance beats them on the ground in Iraq, because the resistance is already winning… but the other part is when the people of the U.S. get organized and demand that something changes, and in the word of Malcolm X, are willing to do whatever is necessary to see justice!”

Ninety schools accross the country particpated in the week of action.
http://www.newsds.org/march20/

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WALKOUT! March 20th!

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Also, SDSers will be holding a brief question & answer session in the dorms about the Iraq war and the nationwide walkout students have called for at over 75 universities!

Tuesday 03/18
Founders Hall – 6:30pm (2nd floor lobby)
Mills Hall – 7:00pm (2nd floor lobby)
Governors Hall – 7:30pm (1st floor lounge)

Wednesday 03/19
South Ridge – 6:30pm (1st floor lobby)
West Ridge – 7:00pm (1st floor lobby)
Governors Village – 7:30pm (Ashe Hall lounge)

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Remember the Counter Recruitment Action that took place at UNCA a few weeks ago?

Last Friday, a member from UNCA SDS, Jeremy Miller and IVAW member Jason Hurd traveled to Tuscaloosa, AL to stage a similar mock raid at the University of Alabama. They, along with two members from Tuscaloosa SDS were arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct”.

Hurd, along with the members of Tuscaloosa- SDS and Asheville-SDS, were detained for over four hours on Friday, Feb. 29th, before being taken away in handcuffs to Tuscaloosa City Jail. During interrogation, UA-PD insinuated the protesters were terrorists and threatened to hand the case over the F.B.I. They bail was set for a total of $2,500. The non-students were also charged with trespassing and are now banned from university property.

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The University has already released a statement condemning the action, claiming it “may have been alarming to those in the area” and that they “will not tolerate behavior that mimics a true emergency on our campus.” Several news sources have reported that the University plans on launching an investigation against the Tuscaloosa chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, a registered student organization.

“If you are one of those people who was frightened, you had a glimpse of what it feels like to be an Iraqi man, woman or child who experience things like this and worse everyday,” said J VanBolt, a UA student who witnessed the mock raid. “I think the one thing everyone- whether you agree with what SDS did or not- can take from this is that people don’t like to be scared and have their lives interrupted! Try and imagine what it would be like if things like this happened to you everyday, and instead of just watching you were actually involved. That is life for people in Iraq.”

We, Tuscaloosa-SDS, condemn the actions of the University, which we feel was not only exaggerated, but violated our rights to free speech. We want all charges dropped. We want an apology from the University for their attempts to equate protesting with terrorism and violence.We refuse to be intimidated and harassed on our own campus!

We are urging supporters to contact the University President, Dr. Witt, to let him know UA’s actions will not be tolerated! We have a right to protest the unjust and illegal occupation of Iraq. We have a right to make students aware of the immense suffering the U.S. occupation is causing the Iraqi people. Please help us put pressure on the University to DROP ALL CHARGES!

PROTEST IS NOT A CRIME! U.S. OUT OF IRAQ!!!!!!!!

For more information, contact
Jenae Stainer, 661.477.4333
Chapin Gray, 251.605.7780

To call the University to demand that all charges should be dropped immediately: 205-348-5100

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