(eng) BINGHAMTON STUDENTS PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY (fwd)

Bob Helms x341465 (bhelms@iww.org)
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 14:36:15 +0100


Dear Friends in France,
Perhaps you might be interested in this struggle that is
happening in New York State. They could use some of the strength that
french students have in such great quantity!

Best Regards,

Robert Helms,
Philadelphia

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 20:46:58 -1000
From: Gabrielle Welford <welford@hawaii.edu>
To: iww <iww-list@iww.org>
Subject: BINGHAMTON STUDENTS PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 18:26:20 -1000
From: Joy A Mahabir <jmahabir@ic.sunysb.edu>
Reply-To: postcolonial@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
To: mlg-ics@andrew.cmu.edu
Subject: BINGHAMTON STUDENTS PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY (fwd)
Resent-Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 08:45:52 -1000
Resent-From: Anthony Alessandrini <aalessan@eden.rutgers.edu>
Resent-To: postcolonial@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 00:00:26 -0400
From: Soenke Zehle <br00492@BINGHAMTON.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list GRADSB-L <GRADSB-L@CCVM.SUNYSB.EDU>
Subject: BINGHAMTON STUDENTS PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY

HI EVERYONE -

KEEP READING THIS STUFF, SPREAD THE WORD AND SUPPORT US!

SOENKE

OCTOBER 16TH, 1996: BUILDING TAKEOVER IN PROGRESS

Several hundred students have taken over the administration building of
the State University of New York at Binghamton to protest police
brutality! Please alert all those you can through your contacts on the
web. We need support! Below is a flyer we have given out about the event
that has demanded this action.
Send protests to
President Lois DeFleur phone#607 777-2131
email:CDIMICK@bingsuns.cc.binghamton.edu

NY Senators

Alfonse M. D'Amato phone#202 224-6542 fax#202 224-5871
email:senator_al@damato.senate.gov

Daniel Patrick Moynihan phone#202 224-4451
email: senator@dpm.senate.gov

BACKGROUND

New Student Assembly Executive Board evicts VPMA [Vice President of
Multicultural Affairs] - University Community reacts to
new views on affirmative action
By Abby Ben Ezra, News Editor
When Binghamton Universitys SA-E Board meets for the first time this fall,
one person will not be there. As other students were receiving their
diplomas, the four popularly elected of the SA-E Board met on May 19th to
discuss the future of the current position of the Vice President for
Multicultural Affairs. After reviewing a Juidicial Board decisons last
spring, president Anthony Benardello, executive vice president Chris
Abdoo, financial vice president Eric Kopelman, and academic vice president
Jeff Golant voted to cancel VP-MA Natalie Bledmans stipend, reallocate her
office space and ban her from E-Board meetings.

SA president Benardello siad the VP-MAs position is not in accordance with
the SA constitution, so the E-Board felt it was important to remove her
>From the office immediately. The position doesnt exist in the
constitution, he said. The E-Board should consist of four members.
Bernardello said that the position only exists in Bylaws IV, which he
specified was not approved by the students, so the VPMA should not have
equal status as an E-Board member. We agree that there is a VPMA, but no
office space, no stipend, Benardello said. (Pipedream, 9/6/1996)
***NOTE***
In the weeks following this announcement, student protesters have been
demanding the reinstitution of the VPMA. Both SA Executive Board and the
University Administration have refused to take seriously the concerns
raised in SA meetings and contributions to student newspapers.
*****
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
Following a memo written by students attempting to attend the SA meeting
on Octobert 15th, 1996, read to several hundred students at rallies the
next day

Last night the Student Association was convened in the Student Union at 7
pm. This meeting was closed to the general student body due to the
disruption of the previous meeting by underrepresented students. These
students came in large numbers to protest the illegal removal of the
Vice-President of Multicultural Affairs - the only representative for
these people on the executive board of the Student Association. For this
meeting an illegal "random" lottery was made by the SA executive board,
University Security officers, and University President DeFleur and her
appointed administrative officials. 30 students were selected by the SA
executive board which is composed of only white males, headed by
37-year-old Desert Storm veteran Anthony Benardello.

Now that they have eliminated the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs
position which protected the rights of underrepresented students,
dissenting voices within the Student Association government on the
executive level have effectively been silenced. Students who protested
the closing of the SA meeting and attempted to enter the were attacked
without warning from the University security officers who had been
convened with special riot gear by direct order of President DeFleur.

When the Vestal Police were summoned by students to protect them, they
were told that they were unable to do so since they were subject only to
the authority of President DeFleur. Students of all ethnic and racial
backgrounds and gender were attacked with pepper spray, thrown against
walls, poked in the eyes, punched in the face, and those who attempted to
leave the area were blocked by University security officers and subjected
to further assault. No warning was given due to the official gag order
placed on Campus Security by the University Administration under the
direct guidance of President DeFleur.

Could all of this have been avoided? Yes. Let us remember that at the
close of the 1996 Spring Semester President Defleur and the entire
University Administration were warned of an open forum by the
Anti-Defamation League and the Urban League (who were summoned to
investigate the political antics of the newly elected SA Executive
Administration) that if the actions of conservative extremists were not
addressed quickly that there would be a serious outbreak on campus.
Tensions were so high at the end of last semester the University had to
hire special security to protect the student commencement speaker so that
she would not be assaulted. While it may be the hope of the Student
Association President Anthony Bernadello to reduce this conflict to the
whining and complaining of students of color, let us remember that
students and staff (male, female, black, white, Latino, Jewish, Asian,
etc) were attacked with pepper spray and beaten. Even people who were not
part of the event were sprayed as the administration-directed University
Security Officers to create and maintain "order" which is a euphemism for
an atmosphere of terror and intimidation. Are you willing to sit by and
watch while all of our rights erode?

*****
In light of the attacks on students last night by ULED officers, resulting
in the hospitalization of several students, and the issues of SA
violations which lead up to this,
We the Students Demand

1) that the administration provide a safe and inclusive environment on
this campus - particularly protecting students from ULED officers, and a
reevaluation of ULED policies and procedures: discontinuation of the use
of force, chemical agents, and the threat of harmful weapons against
students

2) an independent investigation into ULED's abuses of power on our campus.

3) a meeting between coalition representatives and President Lois DeFleur
to discuss the current crisis, including specific measures for its
immediate resolution.

4) immediate dissolution of the current Student Assembly, including
impeachment of the SA Executive Board, and support from the administration
to form a new SA.

5) The reinstatement of the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs.

6) Open access for all students to SA meetings, in accordance with the
Constitution and state laws.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE BINGHAMTON COALITION
THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BINGHAMTON
- 9PM OCTOBER 16, 1996

SUNY Binghamton Coalition students remain in the administration building,
and will remain until our demands are adequately and respectfully met.
Earlier in the afternoon, we initiated a meeting between the Binghamton
Coalition and President Lois DeFleur. The President attempted to limit the
number of representatives allowed in her presence, continuing a long
standing racist construction of public danger. She outlandishly
stipulated that a formal invitation was necessary. We initially complied
with these demands, even permitting unnecessary ULED escorts, who
surrounded the president, filled the halls, and crowded the staircases.
However, after delays, overt intimidation, and run-around tactics, we
decided to terminate a dialogue that only served to reinforce Lois
DeFleurs agenda of disenfranchisement through the medium of alleged
discussion. Moreover, we condemn the Presidents attempt to cover abuses
with a pose of concerned neutrality. It could only have been with
DeFleurs tacit or express consent that ULED officers attacked students the
previous night with chemical agents and brutal physical violence.

We continue to demand:

1.Immediate dissolution of current Student Assembly and comprehensive
re-evaluation of student representation on campus, with particular
emphasis on historically and currently underrepresented groups.

2. A safe and inclusive atmosphere on campus (The discontinuation of the
use of force, chemical agents, and threat of harmful weapons against the
students).

3. The reinstatement of the Vice President for Multi-Cultural affairs.

We are well aware that the current crisis on this campus is merely the
initial, dimly premonitory reflection of larger, more menacing forces
within dominating U.S. cultures, which enforces a monocultural reality to
the detriment of our very lives. In resisting the larger historical
agendas of oppression, we reject all illegitimate power. All supporters
are invited to express their support by joining, or otherwise
communicating, with us. We will remain in the Administration building
until our demands are met. We refuse to be placated, patronized,
intimidated, displaced, disenfranchised, disempowered, infantilized,
racially demonized, or otherwise silenced.

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