12 students were arrested at UCI this evening protesting a talk given by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael B. Oren. Throughout the talk, Oren continually denied Palestinians their right to live in a territory which they solely occupied. As the presentation continued, students began yelling and chanting, at which point UCI PD began escorting students out of the room, only to arrest them and detain them in a police holding room inside the Student Center. Throughout the whole ordeal, Professor Mike Petracca, Chair of Political Science, repeatedly denounced students while groveling before the Israeli Ambassador.
It is clear, now more than ever, what interests run our university. Right now, our administration feels perfectly content using our student fees to fund representatives of a murderous government. When we speak out, we are arrested. This has happened in the past as well: last year, the Center for the Study of “Democracy” (a research center located in Political Science and Sociology) paid for former Mexican President Vicente Fox, guilty of countless human rights violations and murders, to speak on campus and dine with graduate students. Before that, it was John Yoo, author of the Torture Memos. At the Yoo protest, an FBI agent ran over a student with a van and then fled; UCI PD said they wouldn’t do anything. The administration has also violated their own campus policies on numerous occasions to prevent students from drawing attention to their support for mass murderers and human rights violators, in one instance last year banning mention of Israel in official campus media which is open to other student organizations.
Our administration has already made deceitful attempts to deny us students agency in our university. Like at every action around the state this year is claiming that none of the arrested students were UCI students, even though they fully know that every one of them was. In fact, the majority of students present were opposed to Oren. The rest of the audience were part of the rabid Zionist community in Orange County, which has openly called for deportation of Arab and Muslim students and violence against them.
The administration is bringing ANOTHER Zionist speaker to campus on Wednesday, another Israeli diplomat. The event is at noon in Social Science Plaza A 2112. We will not tolerate this misuse of our money. We will not tolerate this indifference to student concerns. We hope to extend the embarrassment of Petracca to the entire University, until every administrator, professor, and cop like him–holding the interests of global power before the interests of students and workers–resigns or is forced out. When we say “FREE PALESTINE” we are also calling for student power, for a student movement from Gaza to Greece to California.
END THE OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE
BEGIN THE OCCUPATION OF OUR SCHOOLS
– An autonomous collective at UCI