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Indybay Feature
Thu Feb 9 2006
UCSC Academic Senate Releases Tent University Report That Includes Anonymous Spy Testimony
Thu Feb 9 2006
UC Santa Cruz Both Confirms and Denies Spying on Students!
On February 7th, the UCSC Academic Senate Task Force investigating the police response to Tent University Santa Cruz (TUSC) released a 25 page draft report (pdf). On pages 3 and 4 of the report, in summarizing the background events leading up to the confrontation on April 18, 2005, it is stated that "The administration was particularly alarmed by the presence of the author/organizer David Solnit at training sessions at the Resource Center for Non-Violence," noting his association with the Seattle WTO protests.

On October 12, 2005, Josh Sonnenfeld, a student at UCSC, was invited to discuss the events surrounding TUSC with the Task Force investigating the issue. The TUSC Task Force was chaired by Professor Carolyn Martin Shaw, and included other professors, staff members, and a couple token students. During the course of this private meeting, Professor Shaw noted that UCSC’s administration had obtained information about the internal proceedings of a planning meeting/workshop for the participants of Tent University. This meeting, located off-campus at the RCNV, was not open to administrators or police, only the event participants.

When Professor Shaw was asked how they had obtained detailed information about what occurred during this meeting, she informed Josh that the University administration sent ‘someone’ for the sole purpose of documenting the meeting and passing the information on to administrators. It is not clear who this agent of the administration may have been, but it is clear that they did not identify themselves to student organizers, and thus, acted in the capacity of a spy. This information of administrative spying on student political activity is in stark contrast to Chancellor Denton’s claims that UCSC’s administration and police are not engaged in spying on students. Read more
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