UCLA, UCI Offer Support to Protesters

Activists at UC Irvine and UCLA have responded to three race-related incidents at UCSD over the last two weeks, holding demonstrations in support of black students at UCSD.

At around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, a group of about 20 UCI students and employees barricaded themselves into the UCI administration building. One hour later, they issued a list of 15 demands including increased funding for the ethnic studies department — a request motivated by the recent events at UCSD.

“As evidenced so blatantly at UCSD this past week, black subjects are in an antagonistic position against the institution; this sentiment is reinforced by administration, and creates a safe space for anti-blackness,” they stated in the document.

Seventeen students and university employees were cited for unlawful assembly and refusal to disperse, leading to the protest’s breakup at 2:40 p.m.

Students at UCLA held their own sit-in on Feb. 26. Led by the Afrikan Student Union of UCLA, about 100 protesters occupied the office of UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and demanded that he pressure Fox into taking decisive action against racism at UCSD.

Block responded by reading a letter signed by UC President Mark Yudof and the other nine UC chancellors — including Fox — that condemned the acts of intolerance at UCSD.

“We will not allow the actions of a few to speak for this University,” the statement read. “We denounce them. We have a responsibility to speak out against activities that promote intolerance or undermine civil dialogue. As always, the remedy for bad speech is good speech.”

The ASU was moved to act when the BSU sent a letter to organizations at various UC campuses on Feb. 19, declaring a “state of emergency” at UCSD.

“Please stand on solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters from UCSD … Our students at UCSD are being silenced and made uncomfortable,” the ASU said in a statement posted on their Web site.

Readers can contact Hayley Bisceglia-Martin at [email protected].