URGENT APPEAL from Students for Justice in Palestine, UC Berkeley

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Apr 24 10:53:58 MDT 2002


Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 00:06:51 +0000
From: Snehal Shingavi <snehal100 at hotmail.com>
Subject: [justiceinpalestine] URGENT APPEAL from Students for Justice 
in Palestine -- UC Berkeley
To: justiceinpalestine at hotmail.com
Mailing-List: list justiceinpalestine2001 at yahoogroups.com; contact
  justiceinpalestine2001-owner at yahoogroups.com

*** PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY ***

Dear friends:

As you may have heard, Students for Justice in Palestine at UC 
Berkeley helped to plan and organize a demonstration on April 9th, 
2002 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand that the 
University of California divest from all of its assets connected to 
Israel and the Israeli military.  More than 1200 students 
participated in this rally and demonstration -- one of the most 
exciting events on Berkeley this semester.

During the course of the demonstration, students and community 
members also took part in a non-violent sit-in in Wheeler Hall. 
Seventy-nine people were arrested for sitting-in.  All face criminal 
charges; students will face student conduct charges.  A few of the 
students may also face suspension for up to one year, according to 
the Office of Student Life at Berkeley.

Furthermore, as a consequence of organizing the demonstration and 
sit-in, the University of California at Berkeley has decided to 
suspend Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as an organization on 
campus pending an investigation.  This means, that as long as the 
investigation continues, SJP is functionally barred from holding 
events on campus, tabling, distributing literature, and organizing. 
It could also potentially mean that SJP may be banned as a student 
organization at Berkeley.  Please note, that while the University of 
California is "investigating" and "only considering" suspension, 
these measures are a prelude to worse sanctions, not to mention only 
applied to SJP (even though many student groups have participated in 
and conducted civil disobedience on campus).

These actions against SJP are unique and unjustified.  No other 
student group that has participated in non-violent civil disobedience 
has been suspended and no students have faced charges of this 
severity in the past several years at UC Berkeley.  We believe that 
this is a systematic attempt to silence pro-Palestinian voices on 
campus and to intimidate students from being activists.

In fact, the policy that makes SJP subject to these charges (the 
Chancellor's so-called "zero tolerance" policy) was implemented only 
a few days before the protest, specifically to make SJP subject to 
higher standards and harsher consequences.

It is also an attempt to attack one of the strongest pro-Palestinian 
student organizations in the country in order to make it easier to 
attack other  pro-Palestinian students organizations across the 
country.

We need your help.

Please take a few moments and write to the Chancellor and the Student 
Judicial Affairs Office (addresses and phone information below) and 
tell them that you believe that these penalties are unwarranted and 
unjust.  Especially at Berkeley, where there are memorials to Free 
Speech movement of the 1960s all over campus (the Mario Savio steps 
and the Free Speech Movement Café), these kinds of attacks on free 
speech and civil disobedience are not only an attempt to roll-back 
the activist gains won on this campus, but also in defiance of the 
university’s mission to promote free speech and debate.

We have included some talking points below that you may want to 
include in your conversation or correspondence with the 
administration at UC Berkeley.  Please do email us at 
justiceinpalestine at hotmail.com with any correspondence that you send 
so that we can keep a record of the letters that the administration 
receives.

We urgently need your help.  Please lend your support to 
pro-Palestinian student activists and activists who are fighting for 
social justice by letting the administration know that their actions 
are not supported by members of the community, students, alumni, 
faculty, and staff.

Sincerely,
Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley
justiceinpalestine at hotmail.com


Please contact:

Chancellor Robert Berdahl
MAIL: 200 California Hall #1500
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
TEL: (510) 642-7464
FAX: (510) 643-5499

Assistant Chancellor John Cummins
EMAIL: jcummins at uclink4.berkeley.edu
MAIL: Office of the Chancellor
200 California Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
TEL: (510) 642-7516
FAX: (510) 643-5499

Vice Chancellor Genaro Padilla
EMAIL: gpadilla at uclink4.berkeley.edu
MAIL: Undergraduate Affairs
130 California Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1504
TEL: (510) 642-6727

Student Judicial Affairs Officer Rajmaira
EMAIL: osc at uclink4.berkeley.edu
326 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
TEL:(510) 643-9069
FAX:(510) 643-3133

TALKING POINTS
1)  Students should not face charges or suspension for participating 
in non-violent civil disobedience.
2)  Activists should be allowed, freely, to speak and protest on 
campus without harassment from the University or its officers.
3)  Pro-Palestinian groups are unfairly targeted for higher 
sanctions, a reflection of the bias in the way that the 
administration hands out sanctions.
4)  Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is a non-violent 
organization that promotes education and activism and should be 
allowed to organize on campus.
5)  Student activists fought for the right to organize on this campus 
in the 1960s and should be allowed to continue to organize.
6)  The University of California should divest from all its holdings 
in Israel and the Israeli military.
7)  Sit-ins and protests are not opposed to the academic mission of 
the University of California, in fact, they enhance the education 
received at Berkeley.

Students for Justice in Palestine, Berkeley, California
www.justiceinpalestine.org
justiceinpalestine at yahoo.com - (510) 496-1269 x1948 - vm/fax
To unsubscribe, email to:
justiceinpalestine2001-unsubscribe at yahoogroups.com

-- 
Yoshie

* Calendar of Events in Columbus: 
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>
* Anti-War Activist Resources: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/activist.html>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osu.edu/students/CJP/>

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