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Related Categories: East Bay | Immigrant Rights
UC Berkeley Students Walkout in Support of Student Rights
by Emma Seb (emmaseb [at] riseup.net)
Monday Apr 10th, 2006 10:07 PM
UC Berkeley Students, joined by high school students, walked out of classes today demanding amnesty and civil rights for immigrants in a joint protest with Palestinian solidarity groups commemorating the Deir Yassin massacre.
Today at noon hundreds of UC Berkeley and high school students walked out of class to protest anti-immigration bill HR 4437 and the Senate's proposed compromise. They demanded civil rights and amnesty for immigrants in the United States. Earlier in the morning, protesters set up a mock border at Sather Gate, a busy walking avenue on campus, complete with chain link fence and barbed wire.

Chants of "The border crossed us!" and "Ningun ser humano es ilegal! ("No human being is illegal") filled Sproul Plaza. Flags and crosses with names of people killed crossing the border crowded the front steps of Sproul Hall. Protesters held up signs such as "Do you think the pilgrims had visas?" and "Don't Criminalize Survival" and a banner reading "Never forget everything Hitler did in Germany was Legal" (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Immigration rights activists shared the stage with Palestinian solidarity groups commemorating the Deir Yassin massacre. Protesters listened to speakers who drew parallels between the occupation of Palestine and the current struggle against punitive immigration legislation pending in the House.

Protesters marched down Telegraph Avenue and Shattuck Ave carrying signs, drumming, and chanting. During the march, there was a moment of silence for Ontario, California 8th grader and organizer Anthony Soltero, who shot himself in response to threats from his assistant principal.