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CFA Humboldt Condemns Arrest of Students and Faculty

by CFA Humboldt
CFA Humboldt Condemns the arrest of students and faculty in response to Solidarity with Palestine protest on Cal Poly Humboldt Campus
CFA Humboldt Condemns the arrest of students and faculty in response to Solidarity with Palestine protest on Cal Poly Humboldt Campus
The Cal Poly Humboldt Chapter of the California Faculty Association (CFA), a labor union that represents teaching, counseling, library, and coaching faculty of the California State University System, condemn last night’s actions of Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) Administration as yet another dangerous escalation of their response to a peaceful campus demonstration.

Just after 9:30pm, Monday, April 29th, a multi-agency force of law enforcement descended on campus. For over 5 hours law enforcement threatened the use of chemical agents and kinetic projectiles via loudspeaker to disperse the crowd gathered on the quad. At approximately 3:30am law enforcement began to arrest peaceful student and faculty protesters sitting in a circle. At least one member of the press was arrested.

CFA Humboldt strongly condemns the use of law enforcement to clear the quad. Over the course of the last week, student protesters have continued to ask for negotiations with CPH administration, in order to have a peaceful resolution to the protest. These are the actions of conscientious individuals working to end a genocide, not the actions of criminals as President Jackson and Sherriff Honsal repeatedly called the student-protestors.

University communications describe this morning’s law enforcement action as “necessary to restore order and to address the lawlessness and dangerous conditions that had developed,” though, the only danger was that imposed by the threat of police action. The statement further minimized the students’ brave actions to bring light to ongoing genocide by calling the sit-in a criminal activity and not free-expression or protest.

As these protests grow in number across the United States and across the world, underscoring the collective will and power of student organizing, one truth included in the statement is that administration feared this protest would encourage more students to think of the university as their own. Even now, there is a hard closure in place and residents on campus are directed to “NOT walk across campus.”

The environment of fear that the threat of police violence created has reverberated across campus and continues even now. All students were afraid to move freely about the campus, not because of protestors, but because of the threat of police action, including arrest. The alert to shelter in place that went out at 3:00 and 4:06am stressed that due to a level of increased criminal activity, it was dangerous to be on campus. But the protesters did the same thing they had been doing for a week: making signs, sharing music, praying, chanting in support of Palestine. The only difference this time was the impending police action – that is what made campus dangerous in the early hours of this morning.

CFA Humboldt demand the following:

* Immediate release of all students and faculty arrested last night.
* Immediately reinstate any students suspended due to participation in the protests
* No academic sanctions for participants of the protest over the last week.
* Barriers to Campus need to be immediately removed and campus needs to be reopened. All members of the university community need access to campus.
* President Jackson must release a statement calling for a immediate ceasefire, taking note of College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer’s statement to President Joe Biden
* Accountability from administration whose negotiations with students led students to believe there would be meaningful action on their conscientious demands

The actions over the last week by CPH administration have eroded the trust of faculty, staff, students, and the larger Humboldt community. The campus community cannot begin to heal until our demands are met.

In union,
CFA Humboldt Executive Board
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