Category Archives: Students for a Democratic Society

Chapel Hill: An Open Letter to Chancellor Holden Thorp

The following open letter, along with numerous other letters of support and statements of solidarity, is from the UNC Chapel Hill SDS website. Though I may not agree with every word of it, I am reposting here as it gets into some of the debate about ‘free speech’ raging over UNC students recent and heroic protest of white supremacist Tom Tancredo. For more information, please see UNC Chapel Hill students stand up for Immigrant Rights.

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An Open Letter to Chancellor Holden Thorp

April 16, 2009

Dear Chancellor Thorp:

I want to express my concerns over the events of April 14, 2009. Currently, I am a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Communication Studies specializing in the rhetoric of social protest. I have been a part of the UNC system for 6 years and a student and member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community for over 4 years. During that time I have witnessed some of UNC’s proudest, shining moments and consider those less shining to be opportunities for growth and progress. As a member of this community, a first-hand witness to the protest events on April 14th, and as a scholar of free speech issues, I believe it is my responsibility to address what I see as precisely one of those opportunities.

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UNC-Chapel Hill students stand up for immigrant rights

The following is from Fight Back! News:

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UNC-CHAPEL HILL
Students Protest Anti-Immigrant Speaker: Event Gets Shut Down

By Kati Ketz

Chapel Hill, NC – Over 200 protesters gathered here on April 15 to protest a talk given by the racist former congressman Tom Tancredo. Students, faculty and staff were in the streets and the lobby of the building chanting, “Shut it down – no racists in our town!” Some protesters were inside the room where the talk was being held and challenged Tancredo on his anti-immigration views while holding banners saying “No dialogue with hate,” and “No one is illegal.”

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Victory for Students Occupying Rochester University in Solidarity with Palestine

uroccupation-2009-02-063The following article is from Fight Back! News:

Victory for Students Occupying Rochester University in Solidarity with Palestine

By Kosta Harlan

Rochester, NY – Students at the University of Rochester declared victory and ended their sit-in protest after the university administration agreed to several of their key demands. On Jan. 6, over 75 students occupied an auditorium in the Goergen Biomedical and Engineering building, in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza. Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Rochester organized the sit-in to raise pressure on the administration to meet their demands.

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Fight Back! Interview on occupation of New School

pc160008Fight Back! interviewed Eric Eingold, a member of the New School chapter of Students for a Democratic Society and one of the leaders in the New School in Exile. The New School in Exile was an occupation of a campus building to demand the resignation of president Bob Kerrey, among other demands (see Students Occupy New School, Demand President Kerrey Resign, Fight Back! December 2008). The occupation lasted for two days and won significant victories that have strengthened the student movement in the United States.

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Students Occupy New School

The following article is from Fight Back! News:

new-school-occupation-2Students Occupy New School, Demand President Kerrey Resign

New York, NY – Over 100 students are occupying the 65 5th Avenue building of the New School. The occupation began Wednesday, Dec. 17 and has the broad support of faculty and staff at the university. The New School in Exile, as the building occupation is called, is organized by the Radical Student Union (RSU), a coalition of Students for a Democratic Society, Student Environmental Action Coalition and United for Peace and Justice at New School.

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New School University is Now Occupied!

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The following demands from the students occupying the New School University are from http://www.newschoolinexile.com/:

• The removal of Bob Kerrey as president of our university

• The removal of James Murtha as executive vice president of our university

• Students, faculty, and staff elect the president, EVP, and Provost.

• Students are part of the interim committee to hire a provost.

• The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees.

• Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and investments.

• The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments.

• The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the tearing down of 65 fifth Ave.
• Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space.
• Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition.
• Instead, money for the library and student life generally.

Sign the petition calling for President Kerrey’s resignation, http://www.petitiononline.com/nokerrey/petition.html.

Please also read this open letter and statement from the occupying students to the New School Community: Continue reading

Students for a Democratic Society supports Republic Windows and Doors workers

Students for a Democratic Society has expressed its solidarity with the factory occupation being carried out by the militant workers of Republic Windows and Doors. The following is from the national website of SDS:

Take Action in Solidarity with the Chicago Workers of Republic Windows and Doors 

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As students and youth, we stand in solidarity with the Chicago workers at the Republic of Windows and Doors factory in their just struggle against closure, and for the right to their jobs and health care. The wealthy bankers at Bank of America got $25 billion in the bailout, but are refusing loans to the company. The management owes over 1 million dollars in severance and vacation pay. We know it is the big bankers and bosses who have laid off, cut benefits, and sold out the worker. Everyone should support the workers’ occupation of the factory to demand workers’ rights and justice.

We join in the chant with them:

Bank of America got Bailed Out! We got Sold Out!

Students for a Democratic Society
December 7, 2008

Take Action!

1. Sign the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/solidfac/petition.html
2. Organize a protest outside your local Bank of America this week in solidarity: http://www.jwj.org/bailout/12-08actions.html

Actions SDSers are already planning/plugging into: Visit the SDS website.