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March and Rally Held at SF State Despite Police Harassment of Students

by Bay Waters
Police are not able to intimidate group of students and their supporters from holding rally and march at SF State campus against the brutal beating of their friends by SFPD last week.
March and Rally Held at SF State Despite Police Harassment of Students

Less than a week after the SF Commune, a squatted communal house in San Francisco was raided by police, leading to several arrests, some of the same police beat and arrested some of those evicted while at a friend's dorm on SF State Campus. (It should also be noted that despite the repression, that night people took to the streets in a march against the eviction.) At the eviction of the SF Commune, police appeared with autonomic rifles and also a remote controlled 'tank-like' robot that was capable of shooting either bean bags or wooden pallets. This extreme show of force for what would normally have been a civil matter, shows clearly that SF police must be getting direction and funding from the Department of Homeland Security in order to deal with 'potential threats' to national security.

Such connections between the federal government and local police departments mean big bucks for local cops - and beefed up repression on radical organizers. The SFPD Homeland Security Unit also recently attempted to even get drones. Local police also are getting training from Homeland Security and are trained on how to gather information on 'terrorists,' working through the SF Fusion Center, which works to coordinate police, FBI, and other law enforcement information gathering. In the build up of the demonstration at SF State on Tuesday, May 21st, against the recent dorm room attacks, police continued to harass students who where organizing for the event. As someone on the facebook event page wrote:

"Me and two others were just detained for over an hour for taping a flyer to a wall. Officer Ruiz threatened to use violence against me and said "If you do not sit down, I will beat you down" to me twice. After expressing concern about this blatant threat he laughed in my face. Three friends seemed to have heard what was going on and came over to make sure everything was okay. When one of my friends took out his phone to record police activity, Officer Ruiz lunged at him, grabbed the camera from his hands and illegally confiscated it. As I stood by to witness the event and make sure my friends did not get hurt, Officer Tang walked up to me and said that if I didn't leave he would issue me a stay-way order from the school campus. It being finals week, I complied and started walking to the library to study for said finals. Halfway there, Officer Ruiz approaches me in a car continues to harass me. He issues me a conduct violation, California education code: Title 5. s 41301(d) for simply walking around the school which I attend as a student. He said I looked "suspicious" and like "I was up to no good".

What kind of school has police officers who harass students for walking?

Welcome to San Francisco Police State University."

Another student was questioned about having an Occupy design on their jacket and then followed. Several people have also been arrested outside of the jail in SF at 850 Bryant for staying on the sidewalk in support of their friends arrested in the dorms last week.

SF State has a long history as a radical campus. In 2009, students occupied one of the main halls that overlooks Malcolm X Plaza during the student occupation movement. In 1968, students went on strike for five months, leading to the creation of one of the first ethnic studies program in the United States. While SF State plays up this 'radical history,' it still works closely with the police to ensure that the actions which would give rise to another such uprising are put down before they can begin. Just as in the past, struggles by workers and students will come up against the rich and powerful in society, and thus, their police.

Despite the repression on SF State campus, today between 50-75 people rallied and marched on the campus to call for the intimidate release of the 'SF Commune 5,' and that those arrested receive medical treatment for their wounds. Around 2pm, students and supporters rallied at Malcolm X plaza and several people addressed the crowd to talk about the situation at the school and the harassment that people have endured in the build up to the rally.

Following a sound system, people took to marching throughout the campus, stopping around the student housing building where the initial attack took place before marching on the police station. People wearing black masks painted slogans with spray paint during the march. Upon reaching the police station, news was read that those in the jail would be released that night, with felony charges dropped to misdemeanors. Upon receiving this news, people then marched back to the plaza to head out to the jail to greet their friends.
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Wed, May 22, 2013 1:35PM
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