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Repression at Hampton University

Posted By: BRENDA ROSS on December 02, 2005

her sources)
>
>CORPORATE PLANTATION
>Political Repression and the Hampton Model
>by John Robinson and Brandon King
>
>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, **** crisis,
>homophobia, the prison industrial complex, the war in Iraq, and the
>crisis in ****. 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.
>
>Now Brandon, three sophomore activists, a junior activist, a non-
>affiliated supporter and myself have all been summoned to an
>administrative hearing for violating the code of student conduct
>by "actions to cajole or proselytize students", "distributing and/or
>posting unauthorized information", and "violating the administrative
>guidelines for student demonstrations". The students were given
notice
>at 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 18 to appear at an administrative
>hearing at 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 21. This short notice
obviously
>made it virtually impossible for the students to organize support
from
>lawyers, parents, witnesses, other students, and sympathetic
>organizations both on campus and in the wider community.
Nevertheless,
>the administration received many calls and e-mails and agreed on
>Monday morning to postpone the hearings indefinitely. Upon returning
>to school from thanksgiving break on Monday November 28, the students
>learned that the hearings had been rescheduled for Friday, December
2.
>
>Shortly before the break, students met with local reporters in a
>nearby shopping center owned by the administration. As the students
>described to the reporters the repressive conditions they face at
>Hampton University, a Hampton University cop sent by the Dean of
>Students confirmed the students' allegations. He pulled his squad car
>to within inches of the camera man and cut short the interview by
>stepping in between the camera man and the student interviewee. After
>the reporters put their camera away inside their car, the police
still
>demanded that they leave the property. The video footage of these
>events was shown on the nightly news. The story also appeared the
next
>day as the cover story in the local newspaper, The Daily Press. The
>Dean of Students, in turn, wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily
>Press responding that the school encourages peaceful protest, and the
>kids who face discipline refused to use the legitimate routes. This
>letter was mass copied and two copies were placed on every dorm door
>on campus.
>
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