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Defend Pace University Students
Statements and Letters of Support

Cindy Sheehan

David A. Caputo
President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

Dear President Caputo,

As President of an accreditied university, you must be aware that the United States of America is waging an illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

You must know that, contrary to what Bush and other members of our government told us, Saddam had no WMD’s or ties to al Qaeda.

You must also know that Bush went against most international law and our own constitution to invade Iraq.

Also, you must know that what Bill Clinton did in Iraq during his Presidency and in the Balkans where innocent civilians were killed, is also a war crime.

Calling a person who is a war criminal, a war criminal, is not a crime in and of itself. Even calling someone who isn’t a war criminal, a war criminal is not a crime.

In America we have Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Peaceably Assemble.

The students, Brian Kelly and Laura Giaccone whom you are considering disciplinary action against, should be given awards, not be punished.

These two fine young people care about the world and about making it a better place. Most Americans care about themselves and their comfort zones. We should encourage young people to stand up for what they believe in, in all cases.

I am proud of Brian and Laura and they give me hope and my heart sings with joy at their actions.

Young people like Brian and Laura are what our country needs right now as our freedoms are being taken away from us at a fast clip.

Please do not punish students who stand up for what they believe in. Be a true president of a higher learning institute and encourage peaceful dissent.

Peace and Love
Cindy Sheehan

Mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.
Founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace


http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/cindy
-sheehan/





Anthony Arnove, Charles Jenks, Paola Pisi and Tim Carpenter

President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

Dear Mr. Caputo:

Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone should be commended for their actions, not threatened with discipline by Pace University.

It is shocking that the university is trying to control student free speech and clamp down on peaceful protests. And it’s incredible that the Dean of Students disrupted a regular meeting of the campus’ Campus Antiwar Network and Students for a Democratic Society chapters.

Universities are supposed to be bastions of free speech, places where students are encouraged to think, to exchange ideas, and to exercise their freedoms. Not so at Pace, it would seem.

The grounds for discipline are ludicrous. Where does the university have the moral authority to threaten students with possible expulsion for:
1. Failure to register a rally
2. Violation of distribution and solicitation policy
3. Reservation of university space by an unrecognized organization?

Apparently, freedoms of speech and association are relative freedoms at Pace, freedoms to be granted after proper "registration" with blessings bestowed upon organizations that have received the university’s stamp of approval.

Is this America, or has Pace carved out a sovereign dictatorship out of freedom land?

And let’s not forget what these students are protesting. They are protesting death, destruction and injustice. Under President Clinton, many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children died due to economic sanctions, according to the UN. He also subjected Iraq to years of continual bombing under the illegal "no fly zones" and bombed Iraq illegally during his Desert Fox campaign.

If anything these students should be praised. You should be joining them in condemning the continued occupation of Iraq.

Resistance to this occupation, and educating people about the lies and crimes that preceded it, are completely legitimate. By confronting the lies that led this country to war, Brian and Lauren are standing in a proud tradition of people who have resisted war, including Eugene Debs, who was sentenced to ten years in prison for speaking out against World War I.

We stand in defense of Brian and Lauren and we demand that Pace University immediately drop all charges against them. And we invite you to join us as we renew our efforts to build the movement to end this war and bring all the troops home now.

Sincerely,

Anthony Arnove
Charles Jenks, J.D.
Paola Pisi, Ph. D.
Tim Carpenter

###

Anthony Arnove is the author of the newly released IRAQ: THE LOGIC OF WITHDRAWAL (The New Press), with an introduction by Howard Zinn. He edited, with Howard Zinn, Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Seven Stories), the long-awaited primary-source companion to A People’s History of the United States. He also edited Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War (South End/Pluto) and a collection of interviews with Howard Zinn, Terrorism and War (Seven Stories). An activist based on Brooklyn, New York, he is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review and Haymarket Books, and is a member of the National Writers Union and the International Socialist Organization. He also has contributed to The Struggle for Palestine (Haymarket Books) and has written for Z Magazine, The Nation, In These Times, Monthly Review, the Financial Times, and other publications. You may hear Arnove debate the occupation of Iraq, and call for an immediate withdrawal, at http://www.traprockpeace.org/iraq_debate_06april05.html

Charles Jenks, Past President of Traprock Peace Center, chairs its Advisory Board and edits the award winning www.traprockpeace.org website. He has spoken nationally, most recently at Socialism 2005, and has written for websites and print media, including Socialist Worker and Labour Left Briefing (UK). His audio recordings of antiwar speakers, such as Cindy Sheehan, Scott Ritter, George Galloway, have been aired by hundreds of radio stations, and his photographic coverage of the international antiwar movement has been published by scores of websites, magazines and books. He has been a lawyer for the poor, elderly, disabled and children for 25 years.

Paola Pisi, PhD in Religious Studies, University of Rome, "La Sapienza". She is Professor of History of Religions at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". Her teaching and research are focused on archaic and classical Greek religion and ancient Mesopotamian religions, and on theoretical and methodological problems in the study of religions. She published several monographies and articles and organized International Conferences at the Universities of Rome, Milan and Bergamo. She is the editor of Uruknet.info website.

Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America, is a social and political activist who, for more than 30 years, has worked for causes such as nuclear disarmament, peace and justice, abolishing the death penalty, defending the homeless, and fighting for clean elections and campaign finance reform. Tim established Housing Now! and Democrats for Peace Conversion (DPC), co-founded the Orange County chapter of the Alliance for Survival (AFS), and helped organize the Orange County chapter of Families Against Three Strikes (FACTS). Tim was a national delegate and served in key positions in the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson (1988), Jerry Brown (1992), and Bill Clinton (1996) and spoke from the podium at the Democratic National Convention in New York City in 1992. Tim was director of the Western Massachusetts Clean Elections movement for the public funding of political campaigns. He also served as a field organizer for Clean Elections’ Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Warren Tolman. Tim also served as Deputy National Campaign Manager for the Kucinich for President Campaign, was the campaign’s state co-coordinator in Massachusetts, and the campaign’s Convention Coordinator in Boston. Tim was a co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org. He has taught U.S. history and government at both the high school and community college levels. Tim is a product of the California State College system where he graduated from Cal State University Fullerton with Bachelors Degrees in History and Political Science as well as a Masters Degree in History.


http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/antho
ny-arnove-charles-jenks-paola-pisi-and-tim-carpenter/ ...








David Swanson

David A. Caputo
President, Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

To President David A. Caputo

From David Swanson

I visited your university a couple of years ago for a presidential candidates debate, and the whole event was very well done. I still have a Pace sweatshirt. But I will feel less comfortable wearing it, knowing that you are charging two of your students with freedom of speech and assembly. These are not crimes, but protected rights under the first amendment to the US Constitution.

Because of failures in our educational system, many students are guilting of failure to hold rallies and perform the other duties required of democratic citizens. But you are charging your students with "Failure to register a rally." This is akin to finding an alcoholic who’se finally sobered up and charging him with unlawful use of a water fountain. Where are our priorities?

Many students never learn to act as citizens, to form opinions, and to urge those opinions peacefully and nonviolently on their fellows. The role of a university should be to encourage such habits. Yet, you are charging your students with "Violation of distribution and solicitation policy." Why? Were they advocating violence? Were they selling something? Were they infringing on anyone else’s rights? No, they were fighting the apathy that their elders constantly condemn while imposing on them by force. Are you not ashamed?

A healthy society is one in which people are free to organize. Yet you are accusing your students of "Reservation of university space by an unrecognized organization." What you fail to recognize is the value of organization as something you should be teaching, not regulating.

Please reconsider. Don’t expell the leaders among your students. Learn from them.

David Swanson

http://www.davidswanson.org
http://www.democrats.com Washington Director
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org Co-Founder
http://www.pdamerica.org Board Member
http://www.impeachpac.org Washington Director

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/david
-swanson/






Camilo Mejia

Once again we are reminded of the permanent, criminal, and atrocious assault on freedom and democracy that we’re living under, an assault perpetrated as much by our privatized puppet government, as by the corporations that pull its strings. But the harassment of activist students Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone by the thuggish Secret Service and the servile college administration, should serve not only as reminder of the deplorable state of affairs in the United States, but also as reminder of the continued need for young activists within the students’ movement to speak truth to power. In a society where conformity and silent acceptance are the norm, and where government corruption easily floats about unchallenged, there needs to be people like Brian and Lauren, whose voices sound loud across the land of the quietly oppressed, and whose persecution reminds us of the need to speak out loud. Shame on war criminal Bill Clinton! Shame on the Secret Service! Shame on the cowardly Dean of Students at Pace University! Shame on those who agree with us but remain quiet! And thank you, Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone, for doing your civic and moral duty. Thank you for sounding off.

Camilo Mejia

Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia is a GI resister, conscientious objector and Iraq War veteran. A Staff Sgt. with the Florida National Guard, he became the first soldier to go public with his refusal to redeploy. He spent seven months in military confinement for his decision, and was released in mid-February, 2005. He has been an outspoken advocate for ending the occupation of Iraq.

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/camil
o-mejia/





Michael George Smith, UCAL/Berkeley

The Pace University administration has now firmly lined up on the side of the warmongers against the people of the world, both abroad and here at home, and added its name to an ignoble list of universities that have tried, and failed, to stifle students’ right to free speech and the exercise of their moral duty to speak out against such horrid injustice.

Brian Kelly and Laura Giaccone deserve our praise and respect — not condemnation and the threat of expulsion — for raising their voices against a man responsible for the slaughter of innocents from Baghdad to Belgrade. Bill Clinton is no man of the people nor peaceful alternative to George W. Bush; we can take no solace in the fact that his murders took place slowly and out of the camera’s eye.

Make no mistake, the invasion of Iraq is a bipartisan effort. Though Mr. Clinton may talk a better game than his Republican counterparts, let us not forget that he and his administration are responsible for over a million Iraqi deaths from the murderous sanctions regime and his repeated bombing of a nearly-defenseless country.

I urge Pace University to think seriously before embarking down this road. It is not too late to drop all charges against these two
courageous students and take a stand for the principles that academia is supposed to embrace — free speech, lively debate, and the quest for truth and justice.

Michael George Smith

Michael Smith, University of California, Berkeley, was a founding member of the Campus Antiwar Network and one of the Berkeley 3 who faced down repression at that campus.

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/micha
el-george-smith-ucalberkeley/





Philip Gasper, Ph.D.

David A. Caputo
President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

Dear President Caputo:

Universities are supposed to be institutions that protect and encourage free speech. So why are you threatening two of your students, Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone, with disciplinary action and possible expulsion, for speaking out against US militarism, distributing flyers and holding antiwar meetings on campus?

How sad, in fact how shameful, that at a time when civil liberties in this country are under attack from a government that not only continues to conduct an illegal and immoral war, but which is also apparently planning new ones, that Pace University should be threatening students with the courage to speak out against these crimes.

I urge you to drop the charges against Kelly and Giaccone immediately and to at least pretend that your campus has a genuine commitment to free expression.

Sincerely,

Philip Gasper, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Chair, Department of Philosophy & Religion
Notre Dame de Namur University
Belmont, California

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/phili
p-gasper-phd/





Ward Reilly, VVAW and Veterans for Peace

David A. Caputo
President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

Dear President Caputo,
Greetings from Ward Reilly in Baton Rouge, La. I am an Infantry veteran (71-74), an anti-war activist, a member of "Veterans For Peace" and the southeast national contact person for"Vietnam Veterans Against the War."

It has come to my attention that Pace University is threatening criminal charges against, and the expulsion of, two students, Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone, because they took time to speak out against former president Bill Clinton, and because they belong to activist groups that are not "approved" by Pace U. I understand the importance of "procedure", but I also understand the dire condition of our nation and our military policies. We have the right to freely assemble on public property, the last time I checked the Constitution.

Mr. Caputo, in case you haven’t been paying attention, we are on the verge of losing everything that we veterans served for…perhaps you are a veteran, I don’t know. Many national groups, such as the ones I am a member of, have been working long and hard to nurture dissent on college campuses around the country, mainly because there has been no "opposition" party to counter the neocon-Republicans, and their continuous attack on our Constitution and our rights.

I understand that Kelly and Lauren simply expressed their opinion that Mr. Clinton was a "war-criminal", hardly a crime. That would come under the Bill of Rights as "freedom of expression", the most basic of our rights. If they belong to groups that are not registered at Pace, then I would suggest that you help them register their groups legally, and NOT threaten them with expulsion for organizing a rally without university permission.

Mr. Caputo, our country is committing war crimes on a daily basis today, for example, in Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, and at a number of "secret" torture prisons around the world, which also means that YOU, AND your student-citizens, are also committing war crimes, and Mr. Clinton did likewise during his presidency, with the intense bombing of civilians in Kosovo. This is not rhetoric, it is fact.

It is imperative that groups such as the "Campus Antiwar Network" and "Pace Students for a Democratic Society" be embraced and encouraged, as we are on the verge of losing our nation because of the insane policies of the neocon administration, which allows "preventive war" to be the new standard for invading a nation, and laws such as the USA PATRIOT Act, which the ACLU says voids eight of our Bill Of Rights.

If "preventive war" is now accepted policy, well, that would justify attacks against us, like 9-11, wouldn’t you say? If we can attack a nation because they MIGHT want to harm us IN THE FUTURE, well then this policy is justified by ANY nation, exposing us to that same policy from any nation that feels we might threaten them "in the future".

We MUST have opposition to this incredibly un-American policy, and your job as president of a University is to see to it that the Bill Of Rights is the policy on your campus. That is what citizens pay you for. DISSENT is patriotic.

PLEASE drop the charges against these students, as they are heroes, NOT troublemakers or law breakers. They are angry, and probably embarrassed to be citizens of this nation right now, as you should be also. Our federal government, both the democrats and the republicans, have failed us in the worst way possible, and again, we are on the verge of losing what every military veteran sacrificed for. There is NO opposition party today, and our Constitution is being dismantled daily.

We NEED opposition to the pathetic policies of this administration, and that opposition must come from college campuses. Please help these students register their groups so that they conform to Pace University regulations, and encourage them to speak out against the fascism that has swept the nation. It is a matter of saving our nation, nothing less, and we should applaud students like Brian and Lauren.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter of concern,

Respectfully yours,

Ward Reilly
S.E. National Contact, VVAW
Veterans For Peace

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/ward-
reilly-vvaw-and-veterans-for-peace/





Annie and Buddy Spell

David A. Caputo
President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

RE: Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly

President Caputo:

In a time of corporate rule, preemptive war, illegal occupation, and government failure in response to natural disasters it is disheartening to hear that an institution of higher learning is squelching public discourse and violating the individual rights of its own students of free speech and peaceful assembly.

As the President of Pace, you should not allow the threat of possible expulsion to continue against your students, Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly.

We must all have the courage to speak truth to power. We must also have the courage to speak truth to people.

With warmest regards, I remain

Very truly yours,

Annie Spell
Buddy Spell

The Spells are Lousiana Peace Activists who helped organize the Peace Train from New Orleans to Washington, DC for the national rally against the war on September 24, 2005. Annie is President of the Covington (LA) Branch of the NAACP.

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/10/




Max Watts

David A. Caputo
President
Pace University
New York City, NY
@pace.edu

Dear President Caputo

Just received an email re the problems of your students

Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone

If I understand correctly, they are due to the university policy against
"unrecognized student organizations"

A question: Had these students successfully registered the SDS
(THAT TAKES US BACK A WHILE !)
would their actions (calling Clinton a War Criminal) still have been punishable ?

A memory: In 1945 we - students at NYU - uptown campus - formed Club TYF -
- Teheran - Yalta - Frisco - celebrating Big Three anti-fascist meetings, and the UN foundation… Affiliated to the (left) American Youth for Democracy, AYD.

We needed a faculty advisor. Prof Don M. Wolfe, English Dept., accepted.

Thirty years later (in 1979) I found and visited Don Wolfe’s widow in New Jersey.
She told us that soon after I had left NYU - in the later nineteen forties - Prof Wolfe lost his position - at the University - and - despite being one of the foremost "Milton" scholars (his book on Milton and the Puritan Revoltion are still today required reading here at Sydney University for these subjects) was unable to find academic employment elsewhere.

He survived as a taxi driver.

Apparently one of the reasons for his unemployability was his sponsorship (faculty advisor-ship ?) of a "red" AYD club.

Are we going down this road once again ?

Max Watts
Australia

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/max-w
atts/





Monica and Kevin Benderman

My husband and I have been asked to make a statement in support of the students from Pace University who are currently speaking out against university policy and against treatment directed at them by the university for their actions at a recent visit by President Bill Clinton.

My husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, served honorably in the US Army for 10 years, and after serving a combat tour in Iraq, returned home and wrestled with his choices, return to war or follow his heart and refuse to participate in actions he could not condone by filing for Conscientious Objector status. Kevin chose the latter and followed all regulations and procedures in the process. The Army command, whether by inadequate training or simple disregard for this soldier, did not follow the regulations and their actions ultimately led to a charge of missing movement being brought against my husband.

My husband fulfilled his duty and followed every regulation he was required to, even while he was being court-martialed for an offense he did not commit. The Record of Trial shows that the command was confused, that the orders that should have been given were never given, and that they did not follow regulations by their own admission stating that "if I had known what the procedure was, I would have taken steps to correct my actions." What more admission is needed?

Regardless, the command did not stand up and admit to their mistakes - rather than do the right thing and respect the honorable service of this soldier, they chose to manipulate the evidence to protect themselves, and to keep their inadequate leadership hidden from view. Because they could not stand up to do the right thing, my husband went to jail for 15 months. He has done nothing wrong - and the leadership cannot seem to admit to their failing.

My husband and I are now 3000 miles away from each other, paying exorbitant phone bills to stay in contact, and hoping that we still have a home and our one truck to drive once we have made it through the madness. We must work to show that what we have known all along - Kevin followed the regulations and we gave the commanders every opportunity to do the right thing, leaving it up to them to choose whether they would have the integrity and moral fortitude to face their mistakes or cover them - is the truth.

What could have been corrected in a single minute of truth-telling on the part of the command is now an effort that becomes mired deeper and deeper in manipulations and falsehoods as the command does its best to keep from having to "look bad" as leaders. For every lie told, another must be remembered, and soon a book is needed to remember the stories. This is how distrust starts. Not because we distrust others, but because we distrust ourselves when the stories grow so long that we become afraid of what we will forget we said.

Two sides are involved in a process and somewhere along the way actions are taken by people who think they understand the rules and regulations but have never really opened the book. The sides react as patience and compassion wear thin and soon dialogue ends and shouting and accusations begin.

This is how wars start.

The way to keep a war from starting? Don’t rely on others to know the rules. Know them yourselves - understand them - and realize that the rules exist for the whole, not for one group or another.

Have compassion and understanding for others. Listen. Be willing to hear both sides and be willing to explain your position several times if needed for others to understand, knowing that as difficult as it is for someone else to understand what you are thinking, it is just as difficult for you to understand them. Be Patient.

Realize that we all make mistakes. Mistakes are not the problem. Not admitting to them and doing what we can to amend them is the problem. Covering them up for fear of being seen as weak is a problem. Over-reacting to someone when they do admit to their mistake is a problem that keeps people from wanting to ever be honest about anything they may have done wrong.

Remember - we are all human beings but we all come from different circumstances. Together, our humanity makes us equal and gives us all the right to choose how we live. But our circumstances add the spice that keeps us all individual and able to help keep humanity growing toward peace in this world. Acceptance of our differences is just as important as believing we are all the same. Expecting all in the world to think alike, to share the same thoughts and aspirations, is a very unrealistic dream.

Know the rules and be honest with yourself when you assess them. If the rules are founded on sound principles and an appreciation for good order and respect for all individuals, then follow them. When you know that you have, and you are still charged with violating them, trust yourself and your circumstances to know that the truth will prove itself on your side. It always does, even if it is not always as fast as we would like. That’s where faith comes in. If you have done everything according to your principles, and you know you have followed the rules that make sense according to those principles; if you are not asking anymore for yourself than you are willing to give to others who do not agree with you, then you have nothing to fear. Truth will win.

Present the facts in your dealings with others and maintain respect for yourself in the process by showing respect for the value of the rules - The Rules (do you know what those are?) If you must resort to presenting facts in a distorted manner, if you must exaggerate the conditions, if you must slander others or disrespect your own bearing in the process of proving your point, chances are you are hiding the fact that you, too, might have misunderstood the rules. Go back and read them - really read them this time - and be willing to meet your adversary halfway. You might just find that you never really had an adversary.

For the students of Pace University, we do not know the entire story. We only know yours. We wish you patience, and we wish you understanding in the steps you choose to take. We wish you common sense and a willingness to approach the matter with an open-mind and with respect for the fact that sometimes we react to a situation without a full understanding of what the "other side" was thinking.

It is a very hurtful thing to make accusations against someone without facts to support it. Kevin and I know firsthand just how destructive such an action can be to the lives of real people. We know the negative effects it can have on those who are accused, but also on those making the accusations.

Be careful in what you do. You are young and you have bright minds, but you have a long way to go and many experiences to live through before you have the wisdom to know all that you wish you knew now. Take your time and learn what you must - walk slowly because the world will be here for a very long time, and it will need you in the years when you have come to understand what you are fighting so hard to prove you know, now.

Know that there are many who are there to support you as we move toward a greater understanding of Peace and just what that means. But also know - we all have a very long way to go before we can honestly say that we truly understand just what Peace means.

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/monic
a-and-kevin-benderman/





New York City Labor Against the War

New York City Labor Against the War condemns the attack on Pace student activists Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly. This is part of an ongoing attempt since 9/11 to silence those who speak out against unjust U.S. wars, both at home and abroad.

We demand that Pace University drop all disciplinary charges against Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly.

Michael Letwin

Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325

http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/new-y
ork-city-labor-against-the-war/





Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF LAUREN GIACCONE AND BRIAN KELLY

This is to support Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly in their struggle for free speech at their school, Pace University. Pace, any school, has a responsibility to create a space in which all kinds of ideas are encouraged and expressed, a hallowed hall for the First Amendment. This is especially true in times of profound social conflict when spaces for free speech are especially precious. Pace needs to apologize to Ms. Giaccone and Mr. Kelly for raising regulatory concerns that do not apply to the situation at hand.

Nick Mottern, coordinator, ConsumersforPeace.org

Consumers for Peace is coordinating a national campaign to boycott EXXON/MOBIL and called for the March to Redeem the Soul of America, from Dallas to Crawford from April 1 to 14, 2006. http://www.marchtoredeem.org/


http://www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/index.php/nick-
mottern-consumers-for-peace/





Defend Pace University Students!


Please take a minute to sign this petition to Pace University,
demanding that they drop all charges against two students facing
potential expulsion for peaceful anti-war protest, and cease the
harassment of activist groups on campus.

http://www.petitiononline.com/paceuniv/petition.html

If you’d like to write a more personalized statement of support for the
students as well, please contact me at wrigleyfield@nyu.edu (with a
recognizable subject line)

Please read more below. And please consider telling University what you think!
Here is the contact information for:

David A. Caputo
President
students as well, please contact me at wrigleyfield@pace.edu
campus "hotline" 1-866-PAC-E001

For more information and ongoing updates in the case see:
Campus Antiwar Network www.campusantiwar.net/
(we’ll be posting more updates as they come in so check back to see how
the case is progressing)

Thanks very much,
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field
Campus Antiwar Network

#####

Reprinted below are a 1) letter and 2) press release from the Pace students who are facing discipline.

1) Letter by Brian Kelly:

Dear Friends:

Yesterday we (Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone) were threatened with disciplinary actions ranging from warnings to expulsion: all for holding a peaceful rally, handing out educational flyers about Bill Clinton’s war crimes, and holding regular CAN/SDS meetings at our school.

Yesterday, the Pace University Dean of Students disrupted our regular joint Campus Antiwar Network (C.A.N.) and Students for a Democratic Society (S.D.S.) meeting citing a university policy against "unrecognized student organizations" reserving or using university space. This occurred after an event we held on Sunday where I (Brian Kelly) called Bill Clinton a "war criminal" with my friend and fellow anti-war activist Lauren Giaccone, citing his atrocities around the world during his presidency. We were not charged with any violation; however, we were detained and threatened by both Secret Service agents and various police officers.

For more information about what happened at the event, including the threats made to us and the illegal searches that occurred please visit the following link:

http://leftist.ws/2006/03/08/why-i-called-bill-clinton-a-war
-criminal/


What I saw yesterday at our meeting:

Several members of S.D.S./C.A.N. and I were sitting in our student union when the Dean of Students walked over to us escorted by a Pace University security officer. She sat down and preceded to showed us a copy of Pace S.D.S.’s website (http://www.studentsforademocraticsociety.org/pace). She said we were violating university policy by meeting at the school as an "unrecognized organization." Her claim holds little weight as we had filled out the paperwork well in advance of the date of today’s meeting and still had not heard any response from the university.

We have held both C.A.N. and S.D.S. meetings before without any hassle; that is until Sunday’s demonstration happened.

When I got back to my dorm I found:

An envelope from my university on the ground near my front door. Inside the envelope was a letter from Pace stating that they are pursuing disciplinary actions against me for the following:
1. Failure to register a rally
2. Violation of distribution and solicitation policy
3. Reservation of university space by an unrecognized organization

These charges are an attempt to stop us from voicing our opinions and exercising our constitutional rights to free speech, press, and assembly. Pace’s message to students and the community is clear: We do not recognize constitutional rights.

Any of these charges can carry penalties ranging from verbal warnings to expulsion.

We believe the only chance to challenge these charges is to make sure that Pace knows that the world is watching them.

We are challenging President Caputo and the University not only on this instance, but also on their attack on civil liberties around the university, their enforced apolitical atmosphere, their union-busting activities, and the presence of Homeland Security agents on campus.

This coming Monday the president of PACE, David A. Caputo, will be delivering a "State of the University" speech at 2:30 pm at the Downtown campus. The Pace Campus Antiwar Network and Students for a Democratic Society Chapters will be holding a picket in front of the University starting at 2:00 pm.

Perhaps President Caputo is not aware that his university, as a institution of higher education, should be devoted to protecting free speech, not curtailing it.

From the Pace website:

"On behalf of the entire Pace community, I would like to welcome you.
I hope that our site and its many informative pages will answer your
questions and give you a sense of the many programs and activities
at Pace. Don’t hesitate to contact the President’s Office at 212-346-1097,
or email us at: president@pace.edu. I welcome your suggestions and look
forward to greeting you in person."

David A. Caputo
President

And this:

How can we help? If you need an answer to a pressing problem, can’t
seem to find the appropriate person to help you, or want to bring
something to our attention, please use the Hotline. We’ll do our best
to get you in touch with the appropriate office or person as well as
assist in any way we can. Also, don’t hesitate to use the Hotline to
tell us good news too!
1-866-PAC-E001

We look forward to hearing from you.
or email us at: president@pace.edu
David A. Caputo
President

I submit to you that he needs to hear our concerns. Please give a call or drop him an email and share your desire to see justice done.

Please consider joining us Monday, March 13 at 2:30 at the Downtown campus. Lauren and I need your support. We both are committed activists in the community and appreciate any support you can give.

If you want to help, we need fliers designed and printed letting New Yorkers know why we are picketing and signs and banners. We need to get the word out about what is happening at Pace. Please join us in these efforts.

Please contact us to send letters of support that we can give to President Caputo, or if you would like to volunteer to help combat Pace’s repression of student dissent:

Brian Kelly- kelly@leftist.ws 845-649-2146
Lauren Giaccone- lg11679n@pace.edu 917-597-3203

Pace Downtown Campus:
1 Pace Plaza New York, NY 10038
212-346-1200

BY SUBWAY
* 2 and 3 — Take 2 Local or 3 Express to either Park Place/Broadway (then walk east across City Hall Park to the campus) or to Broadway-Nassau St./Fulton St. Station (exit at Fulton and Nassau St. and walk 2 blocks north on Nassau St. to campus).
* A and C — Take the A Express or C Local to Broadway-Nassau St./Fulton St. Station. Exit at Fulton and Nassau St. and walk 2 blocks north on Nassau St. to campus.
* 4, 5, and 6 — Take the 4 or 5 Express or 6 Local to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station (last stop on the 6). Take exit marked City Hall to street and walk south down Park Row to campus; or walk through underpass to exit marked Frankfort St. and exit to Pace Plaza and the campus.
* J, M, and Z — Take the J or Z Express or M Local to Broadway-Nassau St./Fulton St. Station. Exit at Fulton and Nassau St. and walk 2 blocks north on Nassau St. to campus.
* N and R — Take the N Local or the R Local to City Hall/Broadway Station, then walk east across City Hall Park to campus.

Thanks for your Support! Hope to see you all on Monday!

Brian Kelly
President, Pace Campus Antiwar Network
Lauren Giaccone- lg11679n@leftist.ws
845-649-2146
AIM Screen Name: Resistance1986

____________________

2) March 7, 2006 Press Release:

Pace Students Speak Out Against President Clinton’s War Crimes

PRESS RELEASE: 3/7/06

Yesterday, the national media has picked up the story of two students heckling President Clinton. This is a press release from the two students, Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly.

Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly are students at the Pace University Downtown campus and aparticipated in the action against President Bill Clinton on March 5th, 2006.

Lauren Giaccone can be reached at 917-597-3203 lg11679n@pace.edu
Brian Kelly can be reached at 845-649-2146 bk32124n@pace.edu

Lauren and Brian are both members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) as well as Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) at Pace University. Both groups are left-wing, anti-war, and anti-militarization. The groups are democratically run student organizations. SDS is a relatively new group with a focus on labor and class issues, radical student empowerment and grassroots democracy. SDS was a radical group in the 1960’s which has recently resurged. CAN is a national organization that is active in fighting the war for several years.

Students from the Pace Chapters had originally formed a picket outside of the event on Sunday but were met with resistance by Pace University officials. The students were then allowed to go inside to the event after their banners were confiscated. Inside the event, Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly stood up and called President Clinton a war criminal and cited the atrocities he committed during his time in office. The two students referenced Clinton’s inaction during the Rwandan genocide, the bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory, the increased ethnic cleansing in Bosnia as a result of U.S action and the renewed sanctions and bombings against Iraq which murdered countless people.

It was at this time that the two students were forcibly removed by Westchester police and brought to an isolated room within the campus where Secret Service were waiting. The students were harassed by police and Secret Service agents who called them "clowns" and threatened to send them to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation that one officer promised "would take at least 72 hours" if the students did not provide information. The students were searched and had their photos taken several times by both police and Secret Service, neither of which was consented to. The students were detained for a period of time and questioned about their ties to SDS. When the students refused to give information like their Social Security numbers, the officers threatened them with statements such as "We can keep you here for 3 days." The Secret Service also tried to get the students to waive their patient/doctor privilege by having them sign a form that would allow the agents to investigate if they were on any medication or if they had been to a psychiatrist; however, the students refused. The police demanded to know the names of who the students traveled with and what type of vehicles were used. The students refused to give this information. The other SDS students were found waiting for their friends in the lobby, where the police took their IDs even though they had nothing to do with the action. The students were then questioned about a letter that the Pace Chapter of SDS sent to the President of the University denouncing the invitation to President Clinton. President Caputo had given this letter to the Secret Service. The students were then loaded into a van with an officer and driven to their cars where police searched the students’ cars under direst. The searches were not consented to.

The students Lauren Giaccone and Brian Kelly would like to make it clear that they do not support Democrats or Republicans. Their action was in response to the growing militarism of American presidents. The Pace Chapters of SDS and CAN denounce the actions of Pace University President Caputo for inviting Bill Clinton, as well as giving their letter to federal authorities. They also denounce the actions taken by Mount Pleasant Police, Westchester Police, Pace Security officials and the Secret Service. Currently, the two students are facing an investigation by the Secret Service.

Lauren Giaccone is a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists (NYMAA) Brian Kelly is a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), the Green Party, Campus Greens and Greens for Democracy and Independence (GDI)

Lauren Giaccone can be reached at 917-597-3203 lg11679n@pace.edu
Brian Kelly can be reached at 845-649-2146 bk32124n@pace.edu



:: Article nr. 21425 sent on 11-mar-2006 04:32 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=21425

Link: www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression/



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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