Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota stands in solidarity with the students who staged a sit-in and occupied the Old Queens Administration building of the New Brunskwick campus of Rutgers University. It was only weeks ago, on April 17 that SDS-UMN led a protest of hundreds against the “honorary-lecture” given on our campus by War Criminal Condoleezza Rice.
Like students at Rutgers who have 350 faculty that have signed on to a petition calling for the University to disinvite her, SDS-UMN had over 200 faculty members condemn her visit after the administration led by Presdient Eric Kaler called her honorary lecture a matter of “free-speech” while at the same time he has worked hard in weeks since to silence and punish student activists for protesting and exercising their right to free speech. We recognize that “free-speech” does not come with $150,000 or honorary degrees. We further recognize that Rutgers President Barchi is cut from the came cloth as our own President Kaler and they are both convinced of their absolute authority to both pay former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to speak at our Universities but also to reward her war crimes with “distinguished lectures” and honorary degrees.
Students struggle across the country from Stanford to the University of Minnesota and now to Rutgers to highlight the historic track record of Condoleezza Rice as a flip flopping politician, former Oil Executive, who lied to the American public about “WMD’s” in order to invade Iraq, then tortured hundreds if not thousands of people from Abu Ghraib to Black Sites scattered around the world. From The University of Minnesota to Rutgers University we say kick Condoleezza Rice off Campus!
For years we as students are educated and work hard to earn our degrees only to see our Universities rewards and honoring criminals and professional liars. Our voices will be heard! We in SDS-UMN call upon President Barchi to meet with students, hear their demands and to disinvite Condoleezza Rice now. Kick War Criminals Off Campus!