UPDATE: Students have now left the building, claiming victory for having held the building for 6 hours. Now meeting, to discuss next moves. Via Twitter: “Under threat of arrest and suspension, we have officially walked out of the sit in.”
They don’t want Condoleeza Rice on campus. They don’t want her as commencement speaker. They don’t support their school paying her a $35,000 speaker fee. And they can think of plenty of other people who should receive the Rutgers honorary degree that will go to her. They see her as a war criminal.
More than 50 Rutgers students are on the second floor outside Rutgers President Robert Barchi’s office right now, staging a sit-in. They say they’ve asked to speak with him, and have been waiting for 6 hours. They’ve been told by security they have to leave, or face arrest. Another two dozen or more students are blocking the entrances and exits to prevent their arrest. Faculty members now have shown up to support them, and make sure they’re treated well. Lawyers from some of the unions representing RU staff are also there, I’m told, to protect the students’ rights.
“Hey hey! Ho Ho! Condi Rice has GOT TO GO!
They’re not alone – 350 faculty signed a petition calling on Barchi to disinvite her. I just talked to student Sherif Ibrahim. He’s a graduating senior. So this is his commencement she’s crashing. He holds her accountable for advising President George Bush that Iraq was a necessary war, for falsifying information that led to that war and for the torture that went on in it. He’s makes a good case.
Sometimes universities invite people some of the students find objectionable. And Barchi has already defended her selection as protest heated up last month. I suppose to some people a recent Secretary of State is a good get. And it’s true that nobody in the Bush administration, or hardly anywhere else, paid for those lies, the misleading of the American people, and theft of our nation’s treasure that war was, to say nothing of the loss of lives for war based on bullshit. But that’s the point. These students have just spent four years being educated in one of the best universities on the planet. They’ve been educated to know what’s what, and to look below the surface to the truth of things. They deserve to be listened to, and their arguments considered.
On the day celebrating the hard work we’ve put into earning our degrees, how can @RutgersU so carelessly slap one on a war criminal? #norice
– via Twitter