Poet Joshua Clover and 11 Students May Face Prison Time
Poet Joshua Clover and 11 Students May Face Prison Time and $1 Million in Damages for Shutdown of US Bank
If you havenâ€™t heard: The administration of UC Davis is holding poet and professor Joshua Clover and 11 students accountable for their alleged role in protests that led to the shutdown of a campus US Bank. â€œDistrict Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging campus protesters with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy. If convicted, the protesters could face up to 11 years each in prison, and $1 million in damages.â€ According to the Davis Dozen press release:
The charges were brought at the request of the UC Davis administration, which had recently received a termination letter from US Bank holding the university responsible for all costs, claiming they were â€œconstructively evictedâ€ because the university had not responded by arresting the â€œillegal gathering.â€ Protesters point out that the charges against them serve to position the university favorably in a potential litigation with US Bank.
[I]t seems that the University administration has successfully evaded scrutiny of the role it played in a series of events that began in January at UC Davis when 12 protesters, some of whom had been pepper-sprayed in November, staged another peaceful sit-in at the campus branch of US Bank. The sit-in was an important political action in defense of public funding of the University and against the replacement of that funding by private contracts with corporations. The protestors won an enormous victory when US Bank closed it University branch on February 28, possibly breaking its agreement with UC Davisâ€¦
The protestorsâ€™ success in this fight against the privatization agenda of the University should be cause for celebration; however, on March 29, nearly a month after the bank pulled out of UC Davis, the 11 students and 1 professor involved in the sit-in received orders to appear at Yolo County Superior Courtâ€¦
Unfortunately, this time around there is no graphic youtube video that could potentially go viral and capture the psychological and financial stress the protesters are under as they face the possibility of having to leave school and, even worse, say goodbye to friends, family, partners and children as they go off to serve time in the California penal system. There is no video to elicit gasps of horror at the threat of a lifetime of financial ruin that the protesters face. There is no video to show the unremitting repression of their democratic right to freedom of assembly and political protest.
A petition is circulating that demands UC Davis drop all charges.
Read the full story here.
0 thoughts on “Poet Joshua Clover and 11 Students May Face Prison Time”
The corporatists sure are sensitive. The charges are pretty severe, and seem completely unconstitutional. I hope Clover and his students prevail.
Me too! Here’s a link to Clover reading a poem in a bank: http://youtu.be/osP3EIbfBrU