Posted by Phil Jasen - November 30, 2006 | News

Southeast Regional SDS convention!
Orlando, FL. UCF Main campus
Jan. 13-15th, 2007

The Southeast has scheduled a conference, which will bring together regional SDS chapters, progressive organizations, equal rights groups, and many more organizations of the politically disenfranchised. As organizers of this Southeastern SDS conference, we would like to build the broadest, most inclusive, diverse, multi-issue collective possible. In doing so we are not only opening the conference to people not affiliated with SDS, but actively seeking out the voices of groups who may not think of SDS or may be overlooked in typical national movements. The intentions are to determine through open and equal dialog the issues most pressing to our current generation and work in solidarity to radically alter our society and establish egalitarianism. Please meet with us this January, help us decide the direction of the future youth movement and join with us in producing real change.

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From the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (PFOC) in Chicago:

Join us for the 13th Annual Pancake/Waffle Breakfast, on Sunday, December
3rd, 2006 from 10:00 am – 12:30 at the new Puerto Rican Cultural Center,
2700 W. Haddon.

BENEFIT for VIDA/SIDA, the Aids/Life Project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center which is in desperate need of funds.

All the pancakes, waffles, vegan pancakes, fruit salad and more you can
eat! All proceeds go directly to Vida/Sida; Tickets $5-20.00.
Sponsored by: Prairie Fire Organizing Committee and Friends of the Puerto
Rican Cultural Center; call 773-278-6706 for more information.

Prairie Fire Organizing Committee

To: Tom Good
Editor: Next Left Notes
Movement for a Democratic Society

November 17, 2006

For Immediate Release:

The Pace Transportation Union speaks out in support of the Pace students who dare to address the urgent and very legitimate concerns of the student body by standing up to the Administration. They should be allowed to be heard.We are in total opposition to the severe and unfair actions taken by the University in this case. Once again, Pace Administration is not playing by the rules.

To arrest students for exercising their first amendment rights of free speech when they feel they have no other recourse—is unconscionable. Worse, the course of action taken by the University evidently was pre planned.

Nothing less than the financial health and Pace’s quality of education are at stake here, and it should be in EVERYONE’S best interest to take part in discussions. Only when one side doesn’t wish to dialogue does it resort to these sorts of actions.

It is time for Pace Administration to join the conversation!

Pace Transportation Union
BB Smith, Secretary

Posted by Jonathan Surrency - November 21, 2006 | News

Gainesville SDS demonstrating on the University of Florida Campus (Photo: Gainesville SDS)

Gainesville, FL – November 21, 2006. Gainesville Students for a Democratic Society held a demo on the University of Florida campus Monday in solidarity with the rebels in Oaxaca, Mexico.

A mock barricade was erected in the highly trafficked Plaza of the Americas around lunch time. It was covered with collages of photos from Oaxaca and a large banner reading “Our dreams will never fit in your ballot boxes! Nuestros suenos nunca cabran en sus urnos! – viva la APPO!”

We staged periodic dramatizations of the street battles that have characterized the movement, with costumed riot police advancing on the barricade behind DIY riot gear being met with a barrage of missiles and masked protesters armed with sticks.

There were pitched battles, mock arrests, police abductions, and plenty of informational flyers and posters for those drawn in by our street theater. (A special thanks to the folks at crimethinc for their great Oaxaca poster!)

After the event the banner and crimethinc poster were again displayed in two different high traffic locations on campus, where they will likely stay for a week or more (if past banner drops are any indication).

As Gainesville SDS’s first public action, it was a very clear success. We accomplished our goals of raising awareness on campus, attracting media attention to the ongoing events in Oaxaca, and going public in an exciting and fun way.

November 18, 2006

Dear President Robert C. Dynes, UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams, and Chief Karl T. Ross,

We support the University’s decision to conduct an independent investigation of the recent excessive and unnecessary force used against Mostafa Tabatabainejad at the UCLA Powell Library. We insist that this incident be investigated as one of racial profiling. This is a case of police brutality and warrants decisive action. As students, we hold our safety on campus as a high priority. The administration of UCLA must recognize that in order to ensure student safety they must meet the demands of the student body to be directly engaged in the independent investigation. We support the coalition of over 50 UCLA student organizations in their call for the immediate suspension of the officers involved and the removal of tasers from campus police arsenal. We will monitor the investigative body’s progress, transparency, and accountability. The academic community across the nation is watching.

The Northwest Students for a Democratic Society Convention

Portland, OR – November 21, 2006. SDS held a Northwest Regional Convention this past weekend. SDSers at the convention issued a statement in solidarity with Pace SDS:

November 18, 2006

Dear Chairman Aniello A. Bianco, President David Caputo, Vice President Doug Whiting, Dean Marijo Russel-O’Grady, and Director Christopher Cory,

We are writing in support of the five SDS students who were arrested on November 15, 2006 at Pace University’s downtown Manhattan campus. We strongly feel that these students were unjustly detained for exercising their right to free speech and we are appalled at the gravity of the charges these students are facing.

We demand:

1. That the Board of Trustees ask for President Caputo’s resignation as University President. He has proven that he is unfit to run the University.

2. That the New York State Board of Regents investigates the University administration and Board of Trustees to ensure it is running in a transparent and legal manner. 3. The full recognition of the Pace chapter of Students for a Democratic Society as a student organization— as well as all other pending clubs.

4. That Pace University inform the New York Police Department and the District Attorney’s office that they will not be a complainant in this matter and that they want to see all of the spurious charges against the SDS activists dropped immediately.

5. That attacks on free expression cease immediately and students be allowed to freely pass out literature/flyers, meet on campus, and hold peaceful demonstrations without approval.

The academic community across the nation is watching.

The Northwest Students for a Democratic Society Convention

Posted by Matt McLaughlin - | News

Ashanti Alston (Photo: Wikipedia)

Hartford, CT – November 21, 2006. On September 26th, 2006, Creating Local Autonomy and Solidarity in Hartford (the CLASH collective, all SDS/MDS members) held a panel discussion to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. The event, held in Hartford’s African American North End included local former-Panthers as well as Ashanti Alston from New York City, also a former Prisoner of War of the Black Liberation Army, and is also know as the @narchist panther. You can read more of his writings and listen to other interviews with him @ .

As a side note, the event was our most successful ever, with about 50 people attending, about 90% of which was Black. Our success was the result of a mix of venue location, advertising over the period of a month (despite our limited capacities) and focusing on a topic that sparked wide interest (not to mention some strokes of good luck).

Matt McLaughlin: Tell me what your experience with mentors and elders in the Black Panther Party or BLA was.

Ashanti Alston: Well one, even getting started in the Black Panther Party before we became members, one of the good things that the Panthers would do, they would have Panthers come out to your home town and talk with you and sort of walk you through what it meant to be a Panther. So folks from New York, me bring from Jersey, they would come to my hometown and we would walk the streets in terms of learning outreach and stuff, how to talk to people and what not. And you would watch them, and this is like, on the street corners just like if it was in Hartford, it’d be on those street corners that had a reputation of being dangerous, the hustlers and all the other people, and you would watch how they talk with folks. And I always like the fact that they talked to folks just like regular people, and most of the time the Panthers that we knew we street people themselves, so the language was street. But it was street in a very political way. It was like a political language for street people.

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A member of SDS New York stands vigil outside the 1st Precinct (Photo: Thomas Good)

New York, NY – November 20, 2006. Wednesday, November 15th began quietly enough in lower Manhattan. However, by day’s end a large group of SDS, armed with pots and pans, would be vigiling outside a New York City police precinct – demanding the release of five first amendment activists wrongfully arrested for protesting on the sidewalk of the very university they pay to attend. They would be joined by one of their professors – chair of the Sociology Department; members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or “Wobblies”), and; attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild. The students, members of Pace University Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), would spend several hours in jail – two spending the night at the Tombs. By the next day the story would be in the New York Times, on New York One (a cable news station) and all over the internet. The Pace Five would be receiving letters of support from SDS Chapters, Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) members, faculty from various Pace campuses and union rank and file.

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Posted by Jay Jurie - November 18, 2006 | News

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Chapter at UCF
Statement in Support of Pace SDS and Pace, New School, and Pratt SDS
Members Arrested for Free Expression Activities
November 17, 2006

University of Central Florida Chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hereby supports and is in solidarity with John Cronan, Lauren Giaccone, and Brian Kelly of Pace SDS, Davey Vacek of Pratt Institute SDS, and Alex Cline of New School SDS, arrested Wednesday, November 15, 2006, for nonviolent protest against actions and policies at Pace University that abridge or annul the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We hereby demand all criminal charges against these five students be dropped forthwith, that no university disciplinary charges be filed against them, and they not be denied access to university property and housing.

For students to actively engage in free expression at an institution of higher education should be cause for celebration, not attempted intimidation, harassment, arrest and persecution.

We hereby denounce the administration of Pace University for abrogating the rights of its students. We call for an independent investigation into the abuse of office and position by Pace University President David Caputo and other administrators who may have been responsible for these arrests and the violation of the human and civil rights of students.

We further call upon Pace University to respect and observe the right of free association of its students, specifically including the rights of SDS to organize, meet, hold events, and be recognized as a legitimate representative of student beliefs and aspirations at Pace.


SDS at UCF declares that the students will speak for themselves, and decide with whom they wish to work in MDS,

SDS at UCF censures the so-called “Democracy Caucus” for their relentless, abusive personal attacks and obstructionist tactics while we are attempting to build a movement,

SDS at UCF actively dissociates itself from the “Democracy Caucus,”

SDS at UCF asks all further abusive emails and letters from the so-called “Democracy Caucus” be disregarded.

SDS at UCF invites those wishing to constructively engage in building a movement to join with us in support of New SDS.

Passed by acclamation by all 36 in attendance, SDS at UCF chapter meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, Friday, November 17, 2006.

In addition, 24 in attendance added their names to the statement as individual signatories:

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