On Nov. 17, well over 150 Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff members, as well as community supporters, held a rally today on SU’s campus to protest the administration’s repression of an ongoing student protest and their refusal to negotiate with the protesting students, known as THE General Body.
The rally was called for by faculty the previous day. It arose as an immediate response to the administration’s latest outrageous repression of the student protesters, who have been peacefully occupying the ground floor of Crouse-Hinds, the administration building, since Nov. 3. During previous negotiations, the administration publicly committed to a non-retaliation agreement against the protesters, admitting that the students were being peaceful and respectful.
On Nov. 14, however, the university reneged on that commitment. That night, a member of SU’s legal team delivered individually addressed envelopes to each student. Contained in the envelope were copies of the school’s code of conduct, with highlighted sections indicated the “offenses” that students could be reprimanded for violating. What makes this blatant act of intimidation even worse is that the administration refused to allow students access to legal counsel. A professor at the law school and the director of the CNY chapter of the NYCLU both tried to enter the building to consult with students but were denied access.
This set off a wave of outrage. Dozens of public letters from faculty supporters flooded social media. The reaction was so intense that the university was compelled to send out an e-mail to the entire university community to try and falsify what happened.
As the occupation and protest movement enters its third week, the movement is gaining momentum. More students, faculty, staff, and community members are not only standing behind, but are now fighting alongside THE General Body.
With the “Thanksgiving” holiday break approaching, this is a critical week for the movement. The Syracuse branch of the PSL encourages all its supporters to lend their time and solidarity to support this incredibly important struggle. Contact [email protected] to get involved.