Stop criminalization of peaceful protest.
- University of Texas at Austin
- Travis County District Attorney
We, the undersigned, call for the Travis County District Attorney’s office to drop charges against peaceful protestor Ramon Mejia, and we demand that the University of Texas withdraw its complaint against him. We are troubled by the University's move to criminalize Ramon, rather than engage with the concerns that he and other protestors raised at the visit of Ambassador Michael Oren. Charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, Ramon faces up to $2,000 in fines and/or 180 days in jail, , as well as numerous collateral consequences of a conviction, which may limit his future employment, public service, and unfettered full participation in public life. As the primary complaining witness, the University can easily prevent this outrageous prosecution from taking place
Ramon spoke out to question and protest the decision made by the LBJ School to host a well-known spokesman and apologist for the crimes and human rights violations committed by the state of Israel. He sought to emphasize that concerns for truth and justice should never be sidelined, but rather, they should be the lens through which we see the world. The purpose of a university is to encourage inquiry. Ramon's actions were not just in line with basic moral values, but also with the very foundation of the University's mission.
The motto of the University of Texas is, "what starts here changes the world". It is a shame that Ramon, an alumnus of the university, is being criminalized because he had the courage to express his opinion.
We demand that charges against Ramon be dropped today and that the university cease its outrageous policy of criminalizing peaceful protestors.
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