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Defend Alette* Protect Free Speech* Fight Racism
Alette kendrick, a woman of color who was arrested during the Regents protest of October 18, 2006 is now facing a three year suspension from UCSC! Whereas the white male student arrested with Alette received only one quarter of academic probation, Alette's sentence is essentially an expulsion! This struggle is situated within the longstanding history of institutionalized violence against people of color at the University, as well as an unprecedented attempt to suffocate activism at UCSC through the use of surveillance tactics, the severe increase in police presence on campus, and the escalated use of police violence (batons, pepper-spray) against students. Help defend Alette Kendrick, protect our rights to free speech, and fight racism in Santa Cruz by endorsing this letter! Email ucadsolidarity [at] gmail.com to endorse Alette’s defense (include your name, affiliation [dept/office], and status [undergrad/grad/etc). We’re also really pushing to get organizations to endorse the demands, so if you are a member of an organization, please make a move to sign on in solidarity with Alette, free speech, and racial justice!
On Oct. 18, 2006 Alette Kendrick was racially and politically targeted at a student speak-out on campus, resulting in her arrest. Six months later, on April 25, 2007 the University announced its intention to suspend Alette for a period of 3 years, in essence a sentence of expulsion for the third year student.
We understand this as an assault on the entire community of color by a University rife with systemic racist practices.
We can only see this action in the context of the institutional violence experienced by students of color on this campus—a violence foundational to and perpetuated by the University. This persecution is inextricably linked to the historical silencing of underrepresented voices, including the lack of outreach/retention of students/faculty of color and the failure to follow through on promises to establish an Ethnic Studies program.
We understand this to be an outright attack on our constitutional rights to engage in free speech.
We can only see this action in the context of increased surveillance of students, excessive spending on policing, and the development of new policies to prevent students and workers from effectively voicing their concerns. This unprecedented attempt to suffocate activism is part of a larger, concerted effort to reverse the recent victories of student and worker organizing and prevent further mobilization. The university is using police violence and police brutality to actively target and repress social justice organizing.
By attempting to punish this woman of color on our campus for her participation in the events of October 18, 2006, the university administration is sending a message as clear the racial slurs recently scrawled on the bathroom walls of Baskin Engineering. And to that message we say, NO! We the students, workers, and faculty of this university demand:
1. No academic repercussions for Alette Kendrick! The University should cease all attempts to suspend, expel, or further injure Alette.
2. A formal apology to Alette and the communities of color on campus for the institutionalization of racially motivated targeting, arrest, and assault.
3. Financial restitution to all students who suffered injuries from the police brutality that occurred on October 18, 2006.
4. Ban the police use of pepper spray, tasers, and all forms of chemical weapons on campus
5. Immediately stop surveillance and infiltration of student and worker organizations
6. The immediate resignation of UCPD Officer Brian Hughes, who has a long history of violent and hateful behavior against students and workers
7. Dismiss the Demonstration Response Team and the Demonstration Planning Report
8. Creation of an Ethnic Studies Program and tenure for all faculty of color, both of which have been traditionally denied within the institution
9. Quarterly student town hall meetings with the Chancellor & other administrators beginning Fall 2007
10. Fundamentally rework the University judicial process so as to guarantee due process, a jury of one’s peers, and protection against double jeopardy
Defend Alette. Protect Free Speech. Fight Racism.