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(en) US, Statement of Solidarity With Pace SDS

Date Sat, 18 Nov 2006 08:41:17 +0200


We the undersigned members of Movement for a Democratic Society(MDS),
denounce the actions of Pace University in regards to the planned arrest
of several SDS first amendment activists on November 15, 2006 at the downtown
campus. The targeting of these activists for their efforts to organize an
SDS chapter at Pace is reprehensible. President David A. Caputo and the Pace
administration have violated the civil rights of the student population and
we join with SDS Pace in calling for David Caputo to step down now.
The SDS organizers at Pace were exercising their first amendment rights to
demonstrate on the campus of the university wherein they are matriculated
students. At the time of their arrest they were demanding the right to
free expression and to speak with President Caputo and Dean of Students
O'Grady for a redress of their grievances. Instead they were arrested
for standing on the sidewalk of the very university they pay to attend.

If a matriculated student cannot express her/his views in a nonviolent manner
something is seriously amiss. If Free Expression is denied on the grounds
of a college campus where is it protected?

We call upon the board of trustees to request President David Caputo's
resignation now in order to ensure that Pace University ceases all attacks
on free expression and the civil rights of its student population. We
demand that Pace University stop the harrassment of Students for a Democratic
Society, a student-led political organization which has indeed applied for
a charter. In light of the fact that Dean of Students O'Grady informed
Brian Kelly in no uncertain terms that SDS will be recognized - we demand full
and unconditional recognition now.

We further demand that Pace University inform the New York Police Department
and the District Attorney's office that they will not be a complainant in
this matter and want to see all of the spurious charges against the SDS activists

dropped now. We demand that all disciplinary charges against individual
SDS members be dismissed immediately - fliering on a college campus is a
right, not a crime. Our institutions of higher education must do everything
in their power to protect free expression and we demand that the students'
right to freedom of speech and assembly be recognized immediately.
Lastly, we demand a letter of apology from President Caputo to the
students whose civil rights he has violated.

Signed,

Paul Buhle, MDS Brown University
Mark Derderian, SDS/MDS Denver
Bert Garskof, MDS Connecticut
Thomas Good, Secretary, MDS, Inc.
Jay D. Jurie, Vice President, MDS, Inc.
Penelope Rosemont, Co-President, MDS, Inc.
Bruce Rubenstein, Treasurer MDS, Inc.
Mark Rudd, MDS New Mexico
Donyal Svilar, Staten Island NY
=====================================
SDS is an antiauthoritarian anticapitalist network
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