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SFSU TWLF 2016 Rally/Demands-Defend SFSU College of Ethnic Studies & Stop Gentrification
by Labor Video Project
Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
Hundreds of San Francisco State students, faculty, staff and supporters of the College of Ethnic Studies and public education rallied at the center of the campus on May 9, 2016. Hunger strikers read a statement of their demands and also SF State graduate and actor Danny Glover spoke in solidarity.
sm_sfsu_hunger_strike_demands_twlf.jpg
Hundreds of San Francisco State students, faculty and supporters of the College of Ethnic Studies and public education. Speakers discussed the systemic racist attack on the Ethnic Studies College, a hostile work relationship and the effort to destroy the college by replacing faculty who have retired or left. They also discussed the gentrification of the university and the increasing decline of African American students at the University.

The university administration has been starving the College of Ethnic Studies and demanding that they fund themselves like the School of Business and other money making operations on the campus. The corporatization of the University is aimed at full privatization and the elimination of poor and working class students who can no longer attend the university or must go into massive debt to continue their public education.

There are also political attacks on the Palestinian students and other student activists by the administration including criminalizing their political protests. Clarence Thomas of ILWU Local 10 and a former strike leader talked about the ILWU Local 10 shutting down the Israeli Zim ship in solidarity with Palestinian people.

Steve Zeltzer, a former striker and journalist at KPFA WorkWeek Radio also called for a struggle for free education and open admissions which were the demands of the strikers in 1968. He pointed out that there are over 30 billionaires in San Francisco and over 100 billionaires in California and yet the students and faculty are being told there is not enough money to keep the College of Ethnic Studies going.

The California Faculty Association also said they are filing a grievance for a hostile workplace environment and that the attacks on the faculty is affecting the education of all the students.


SFSU TWLF 2016 Hunger Striker's Demands At May 9, 2016 Rally
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umgRO_Hwqgg
At a solidarity rally held at SFSU on May 9, 2016 the Third World Liberation Front hunger strikers spoke about their demands on the university administration. The administration has been cutting back and destroying the Ethnic Studies College and refusing to replace faculty. Also the percentage of African American students has continued to decline as the gentrification of the University continues.
For more information:
https://www.facebook.com/ethnicstudies4freedomandourfuture/
Production of Labor Video Project
http://www.laborvideo.org


Solidarity Rally For SFSU Ethnic Studies Hunger Strikers On May 9, 2016
https://youtu.be/AKXXZI-F3xc
A solidarity rally on May 9, 2016 was held for SFSU Ethnic Studies hunger strikers who are demanding full funding for the College of Ethnic Studies and an end to the attack on the programs and faculty. The hunger strike started on May 1. The hunger strikers are Hassani Bell, 18, Julia Retzlaff, 19, Sachiel Rose, 19, and Ahkeel Mestayer, 20 and their organization is called Third World Liberation Front 2016 in homage to the 1968 strike.
For further information:
https://www.facebook.com/ethnicstudies4freedomandourfuture/
Production of Labor Video Project
http://www.laborvideo.org

Danny Glover Speaks Out In Support SF State Ethnic Studies Hunger Strikers
https://youtu.be/G965nQn_g1E
Danny Glover, actor, activist and a member of the Black Student Union BSU during the 1968 strike at San Francisco State College spoke on Monday May 9, 2016 at a solidarity rally for the students of the Ethnic Studies College who are on a hunger strike protesting the cutbacks and attacks on the program. The students have been demanding full support for the school and faculty who have been attacked for years.
Glover called on the students, faculty, staff and supporters of the Ethnic Studies College to prepare for a strike if their demands are not met.
For more information contact
https://www.facebook.com/ethnicstudies4freedomandourfuture/
Production of Labor Video Project
http://www.laborvideo.org

SFSU president says hunger strikers’ demands not ‘unrealistic’ "Kenneth Monteiro, dean of the ethnic studies college, said cuts to his teaching budget mean San Francisco State must consider dropping about 70 classes from the 170 or so he planned to offer in the upcoming school year."
http://www.sfexaminer.com/sfsu-president-says-hunger-strikers-demands-not-unrealistic/

San Francisco State University students and supporters raise their hands in solidarity during a news conference supporting the four hunger strike students and restate their demands for funding $8 million to the College of Ethnic Studies on Monday, May 9, 2016. (Yesica Prado/Special to the SF Examiner)
By Michael Barba on May 9, 2016 6:12 pm

San Francisco State University officials were pressured Monday to compromise with the College of Ethnic Studies and its four students on a hunger strike who are calling for the university to pump $8 million into its college.

The students have not eaten since May 1 and have pledged to continue fasting until administrators close the college’s annual budget deficit and award even more funding than that, among a series of other demands.

In response to questions from reporters, SFSU President Leslie Wong said Monday he did not find the demands “unrealistic.” However, Wong said he did not know where the funding would come from as the entire university has been underfunded in recent years and the budget for 2016-17 is not yet finalized.

“I would want a serious discussion and I think that’s what I hear them asking for and I’m more than willing to set that up,” Wong said. “From my first day here I have made it clear that the College of Ethnic Studies will stand on its own.”

In February, Wong designated $200,000 in one-time funding to keep the college afloat next school year after initial protests and claims that Ethnic Studies had been struck by a round of budget cuts.

While university officials said reserve funding used to cover the college’s annual deficit had dried up, Ethnic Studies faculty claim inadequate funding for more than a decade has reduced the college’s operations by 40 percent.

Amid the hunger strike, the heads of the College of Ethnic Studies called on California State University Chancellor Timothy White to launch an investigation into alleged racial bias and discrimination in hiring practices at the university.

The Ethnic Studies chairs claim SFSU has not allowed them to hire two black candidates for tenure-track positions in the Department of Africana Studies because of the college’s support for the recent protests.

But Provost Sue Rosser, who approved the search process in fall 2015 for two candidates to replace a faculty member who died and another who retired, said there was no room in the college’s budget for the hires.

“That is just not true,” Rosser said last Tuesday in response to the allegations of retaliation. “If any other college did not have the funding, they also would not be hiring candidates.”

White, the CSU chancellor, responded to the allegations Friday in an email obtained by the San Francisco Examiner, where he said his office would review the claims and determine an outcome on the issues by May 23.

Hunger strike

On Monday, the hunger strikers reiterated their demands to several hundred supporters on the campus quad, including SFSU alumnus, actor and activist Danny Glover.

Glover reminded students of the 1960s strike at SFSU that led to the creation of the nation’s first-ever College of Ethnic Studies and changed “the narrative.”

“That’s what the ethnic studies program is about. That’s what this strike is about,” Glover said. “Defending their right to an education.”

The students on the hunger strike — Hassani Bell, 18, Julia Retzlaff, 19, Sachiel Rose, 19, and Ahkeel Mestayer, 20 —are calling themselves the Third World Liberation Front 2016 in homage to the 1968 strike.

UCSF Medical Center students and a professor treated the hunger strikers Saturday at the Clínica Martín-Baró in the Mission District.

“The longer the duration of the hunger strike, the more likely to see serious damage in the body and the more risks when it comes to refeeding,” professor Gina Moreno-John said in a statement. “We are concerned about the health of these students as they are showing initial symptoms of their calorie deprivation.”

The students also received the support of elected-officials including supervisors John Avalos, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and David Campos, as well as Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

For a week, the hunger strike coincided with another group of protesters who went without food for 17 days, calling for the firing or resignation of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.

The students threatened to “escalate” their tactics if their demands are not met by Wednesday at 11 a.m.


SF State hunger strikers keep up fight for ethnic studies
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-State-hunger-strikers-keep-up-fight-for-7423876.php
By Steve Rubenstein
Updated 7:28 pm, Monday, May 9, 2016



Photo: Steve Rubenstein / The Chronicle / /
IMAGE 1 OF 2A rally was held Monday, May 9, 2016, supporting four students on a hunger strike to protest cuts made to the ethnic studies program at San Francisco State University.

One group of San Francisco hunger strikers may have started eating again, but an equally determined group of hunger strikers at San Francisco State University went through its eighth day on Monday without solid food to protest budget cuts to a popular ethnic studies program.
The San Francisco State protest, which had been overshadowed by the hunger strike by activists who want San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhrfired, was the subject of a noisy noon rally in the middle of campus that drew about 300 students, faculty and alumni — including actor Danny Glover.
Hunger striker Ahkeel Mestayer, 20, said the planned cuts to the College of Ethnic Studies threatened to gut the classes that mean the most to him.
“These classes teach us about the fight against racism, sexism, capitalism — all the isms,” said Mestayer, who has taken six ethnic studies classes.
Subsisting on liquids

Mestayer and three other students are subsisting on chicken broth and coconut water — the same staples that the anti-Suhr strikers had been allowing themselves. Mestayer said the San Francisco State group, which is being monitored by medics, is in good health so far.

Kenneth Monteiro, dean of the ethnic studies college, said cuts to his teaching budget mean San Francisco State must consider dropping about 70 classes from the 170 or so he planned to offer in the upcoming school year. The College of Ethnic Studies, said to be the only one of its kind in the nation, provides students with what the dean called the “intellectual traditions of what are soon going to be a majority of Americans.”
Attending the rally and supporting the strike was Glover, who graduated from San Francisco State in 1971 and who called his time at the university “the greatest days of my life.”

“I’m here to support the strikers any way I can,” he said. “Ethnic students are so important for all students.”
Deficit an issue
In a previous statement, San Francisco State President Les Wong said the university needed to “change how we respond to colleges that run annual deficits, as has been the case for ethic studies in recent years.” He said he has asked the college to “adapt to new budgetary discipline.”
Meetings with college administrators are ongoing, said Monteiro, who declined to discuss specifics.
University spokesman Jonathan Morales said Wong met with the strikers last week, was concerned for their health and “would like to try to find a solution.” Morales said that ethnic studies was the only college running large deficits each year and that the president has “asked the college to live within its budget.” Its annual deficit is about $250,000, he said.
Steve Rubenstein is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: srubenstein [at] sfchronicle.com

COMMUNITY SUPPORT STRONG AT HUNGER STRIKE PRESS CONFERENCE
http://goldengatexpress.org/2016/05/09/breaking-community-support-strong-at-hunger-strike-press-conference/
09 MAY 2016


EMILY CHAVOUS AND JEREMY PORR 0 0 136 0
Nearly 200 students and faculty gathered in the quad at 12:30 p.m. Monday for a press conference surrounding the four students who began a hunger strike last week in protest of what they consider a dismissal of their demands to defend and advance the College of Ethnic Studies.

In attendance were actor and SF State alumnus Danny Glover, San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, in addition to several community activists and public officials who expressed solidarity with the strikers.

“It is a bit shameful that eight days into the strike we have not been able to come to a resolution on their just demands,” Chair of Latina and Latino Studies Alejandro Murguia said to the crowd. “So we are hoping that finally the president and the provost and his cabinet will listen and pay attention to these very astute demands and concerns.”

Vice President of the Black Student Union Hanna Wodaje also called out the administration.

“We believe this to be a violation of our civil rights, the CSU moratorium on Ethnic Studies, and furthermore a violation of the mission of the University,” Wodaje said. “We cannot comprehend the logic that has led to the decision by our administration but we can see the implications, a University that does not adequately represent its student body and its faculty.”

Mar said San Francisco Supervisors David Campos, John Avalos and Jane Kim support the “courageous” strikers and their “just” list of demands.

“I worry about the health of the strikers here and the strikers that are in front of City Hall,” Mar said. “But I also know that the College of Ethnic Studies has been starved. It’s a systemic starvation.”

President Leslie E. Wong addressed a small room of press at 1:45 p.m. in the Administration Building during the open mic segment of the larger press conference held outside, which ran longer than its noted end-time of 1:30 p.m.

“I think a very deliberate and formal process where we come to the table is needed at this time,” Wong said. “I think that we can earnestly and seriously tackle some important issues, the least of which is funding. I think there’s an issue of trust, I think there are issues of our relationship between the administration and the rest of the community. And personally, those are very important to me.”

The strikers continued their protest off-campus over the weekend, but returned to their campsite today.

“There’s a lot of love out there, but sometimes you need some time to yourself,” 19-year-old striker Sachiel Rosen told Golden Gate Xpress. “It’s good to see a lot of people out here. This was the point – we wanted to spread the word … to connect the campus community.”
§Palestinian Students from GUPS Joined The Rally
by Labor Video Project Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
sm_sfsu_palestinian_gups_at_hunger_strike_twlf.jpg
Palestinian students who are members of the General Union of Palestinian Students talked about their support for the hunger strike and the administration's attack on them and their organization.
§Students Defend SFSU Ethnic Studies
by Labor Video Project Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
sm_sfsu_students_at_twlf_rally.jpg
Students are angry that the University administration are slowly closing down the College of Ethnic Studies and attacking the faculty.
§Defend and Advance Ethnic Studies
by Labor Video Project Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
sm_sfsu_twlf_rally_defend_and_advance5-9-16.jpg
Students and faculty joined the call to defend the College of Ethnic Studies
§Danny Glover Supported the Hunger Strikers and College of Ethnic Studies
by Labor Video Project Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
sm_glover_sfsu_ethnics_studies5-9-16.jpg
Former SFSU student Danny Glover who is now an actor and activist supported the students and called for them to go to the communities to get further support in their struggle against the attacks on the College of Ethnic Studies and gentrification.
§All Power To The People
by Labor Video Project Tuesday May 10th, 2016 8:04 AM
sm_sfsu_twlf_all_power_to_the_people.jpg
Students and faculty showed that they are getting more united and stronger in the fight to defend the College of Ethnic Studies and also stop the racism and gentrification at the University.
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