Sunday, December 04, 2005

What happened to the Hampton Students

About the students threatened with expulsion. From Znet

On Wednesday November 2, 2005 at Hampton University, the progressive campus group affiliated with Amnesty International, United Students Against Sweatshops, and Campus Anti-War Network held a student walk-out on the issues of New Orleans urban renewal, AIDS crisis, homophobia, the prison industrial complex, the war in Iraq, and the crisis in Sudan. The organizers for the group had been planning the action for sometime, and promoted it with radio announcements, posters around the campus, and handing out fliers at campus group meetings. The planned activities included speeches, chants, poetry, and musical performances. Earlier that day an international student was subjected to intense interrogation by the Dean of Women and was told by the Hampton University police that she would be shadowed by a cop. At twelve noon Brandon King began to speak to about 75-100 students in the Student Center about our plans for the day. We handed out information on the Iraq war and the Katrina disaster. Then armed HU police abruptly shut down our activities.

The HU police booked several people just because they were wearing stickers and other paraphernalia that advertised our events. They booked people who weren't even wearing paraphernalia because they looked suspicious. The police used hand-held camcorders to record the faces of the activists without our permission. They attempted to intimidate the student onlookers by their random targeting. Three of us were singled out as leaders by the Dean of Men and HU police, who temporarily confiscated our students ID cards. The next day, one leader of our group, Brandon King, was told by a Hampton University Lieutenant Detective that, despite the fact that he was a "hometown athlete," he would be expelled if he did not cooperate and give up the names of other group members. more.

From professor kim.

"6 Hampton Protesters Ordered to Perform Community Service" Black College Wire reports that six students at Hampton University will be required to perform community service as punishment for distributing flyers critical of the Bush administration with prior approval from the University. A seventh student was let off with a warning. The students' plight received attention and support from noted activists and scholars in the US and elsewhere.

This is the second major free-speech controversy at the Virginia school in recent years. In 2003, University administrators seized the school's newspaper because the staff did not print a notice that the administration wanted on the front page.more.


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