The SFSU administration has allowed the ten back on campus, but further discipline is expected.
Please Call and email The President and Dean of Students to demand that no further disciplinary actions be brought against the students or any student groups.
Robert Corrigan, president
ofc phone: (415) 338-1381
J.E. (Penny) Saffold, Dean of Students
ofc phone: (415) 338-2032
Updated Summary of Events, 4/18/06
On Friday, April 14th, students at SFSU entered the campus career fair in response to the presence of military recruiters. All students seeking to enter were required to surrender heir student ID card. These student protesters were allowed in despite the fact that they were carrying visible signs. Upon entering, the students saw that the administration had already set up a rope line in front of the recruiters’ table.
Several students removed themselves from the line and began chanting and holding up their signs about 20 feet from the recruiters’ table. The students were in no way blocking access to the recruiters or disrupting the career fair except for slightly raising the noise level of the room. About 45 minutes later Jack Brewer, the director of the career center along with at least ten campus police officers surrounded the students and told them they were disrupting the career fair. The officers then began forcibly removing the students. Not all of the students being removed were chanting and holding signs.
Three students were physically grabbed by the arm, including one woman who was grabbed by two officers. The students were singled off from each other by the officers and told they were being detained. The officers said they were being “626ed,” a reference to the section of the California penal code that they were being cited under. One student was told that we were detained for violating California Penal Code 415 (“Disturbing the Peace”). The police told students they would not be allowed on campus for up to 14 days. Some students were told 7 days, others, 10, but most of them were told not to come back to campus for 14 days. The officers asked for ID and took down the students’ information. Several of the students were then coerced into signing a small white card. When they asked what it was they were being told to sign, the officers said that the signature signified that the students understood that ‘permission to remain on campus was revoked.’ It is important to note that not all the students were asked to sign it nor did all the students receive an explanation.
The students were detained until they had been written up. Some of the students were unable to get back their IDs while others were allowed to retrieve theirs. The students were then escorted off campus by the campus police.
On Monday, the ten students held a press conference right outside the University on 19th Ave. Two TV stations and several newspapers were there. A few hours later one of the students returned home to find a letter from the campus police stating that the President of the University had approved the citations and if anyone was caught off campus, they would be arrested. It has come to light that the administration actually instructed the campus housing staff to prevent two of the 10 students from going to their homes on campus. These students were made effectively homeless over the weekend for fear of being arrested, and could not eat at pre-paid dining facilities on campus.
Several hours after the Monday press conference all the students received emails from the Dean of Students, J.E. (Penny) Saffold, that the 626 violation was being “modified” so that the ten students could freely return and spend time on campus without fear of arrest.
This is of course a fantastic development that we should attribute directly to our press conference and the support of people all over the country. However, we know from past experience that the administration WILL seek further disciplinary actions for individuals and student organizations, particularly Students Against War (SAW) – a chapter of the Campus Antiwar Network – who is under threat of being disbanded for violating ridiculous University policies which protect military recruiters over students who were simply speaking out against war and its perpetuation on SFSU’s campus.
Last year Students Against War (SAW) and the International Socialist Organization (ISO) were sanctioned by the University for their involvement in a much larger demonstration which effectively drove the military from the Campus. Three individuals were singled out for disciplinary action as well, but with the help of the NLG, the proceedings against individuals were effectively stalled and have not resulted in any actions against the students.
The SFSU administration has a history of silencing dissent and will not tolerate any form of protest that actually poses a challenge to injustice on this campus. We have to show them that there is massive opposition to their attempts to stifle free speech.