Our First Amendment protects certain values that are inseparable from democratic life. Every violation, trivialization, or bastardization of these is an abuse of power. At this hour of great social awakening, our right to peaceably assemble is arguably the most crucial and is currently the most aggressively denied.
The recent incidents of police brutality against peaceful student protesters at the UC Universities and Baruch College reflect a widespread attack on democracy occurring across our nation. The recent attacks on peaceful demonstrations at Occupy Oakland and occupations across the nation are also evidence of this. These attacks have risen from fear of a functioning democracy, targeting citizens who claim the basic rights they were promised. The violent responses to student demonstrations reveal a repressive system of power that is threatened by peaceful resistance.
We, the undersigned of Sarah Lawrence College, stand in solidarity with students and occupiers all over the country as they demand justice for acts of violence that have breached their trust in institutions of higher learning, and as they strive to reintegrate the promise of democracy into our governing systems. We stand in solidarity with the Occupy Movement that continues to mobilize Americans toward reclaiming their rights, voices, and futures. We the people can be the powers that be.