Jason Hurd from IVAW, UNC-A and UofA SDS members arrested

Earlier today, members of the Tuscaloosa chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, along with Jeremy Miller from UNCA-SDS and Jason Hurd from the Asheville chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) staged a mock raid. SDS-Tuscaloosa invited Hurd to their campus to speak on his experiences in Iraq, and the mock raid (a theatrical reenactment of a military raid of Iraqi civilians) was intended to demonstrate to students the human cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Weeks earlier, Hurd led a similar action at UNC-A, which received much attention on their campus and their community (see one local paper’s article “Vets shed light on Iraq service”- http://citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880211101).

However, after the mock-raid was staged, and Hurd spoke to onlookers, explaining purpose of the action, about a dozen cops surrounded four of the participants, and after questioning, took them into a closed room in the Student Services center, where they were detained for over four hours, without being allowed contact with others or a lawyer, before finally being charged with disorderly conduct and taken to city jail, where their bail was set for a total of $2,500.

We, along with members of the Tuscaloosa community, have condemned the University’s actions, seeing the response of campus police as not only excessive and unwarranted, but also as an act of intimidation that essentially attempts to deny students the right to protest. We see “street theater” as a way to creatively, vividly, and poignantly demonstrate the effects of the occupation, and do not apologize for speaking out against the war.

We, as students, feel that our rights to free speech and expression have been violated, and we shudder to think of what kind of society we live in where students, holding harmless protests are met with indefinite detention and arrest.

We do not apologize for our protest being disruptive. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was disruptive. The post-traumatic stress countless US soldiers experience upon their return is disruptive. Our goal is to end the occupation of Iraq, a war waged for economic and political control over the Middle East, a war that has caused the deaths of over 600,000 Iraqis, and displaced millions from their homes.

We have a right to protest peacefully what we feel is unjust. Help us defend our rights as students- whether letting the University know their actions are unacceptable, helping with bail costs, or sending statements of solidarity, your support helps us carry on this fight against censorship, intimidation, and harassment by our own University.

DROP ALL CHARGES!

For more information, contact
Jenae Stainer, 661.477.4333
Chapin Gray, 251.605.7780

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One Response to “Jason Hurd from IVAW, UNC-A and UofA SDS members arrested”

  1. hellsucksrt Says:

    if your guns scared people then it wasn’t peaceful. period.

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