Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Students at Cal-Berekeley Protest Israeli Involvement

By Steve Sexton and Lally Rezayani Daily Californian

(U-WIRE) BERKELEY, Calif. – Thirty-two protesters decrying University of California business ties to Israel were arrested Tuesday after barring access to Wheeler Hall during a six-hour demonstration at UC-Berkeley.

Locking all but three of the 12 doors to the building with chains and linking arms to block the three open entrances, activists disrupted classes to protest the UC Board of Regents’ involvement with companies working in Israel.

UCPD ended the demonstration at 6 p.m. after the protesters nearly closed off the building for the entire afternoon. With a team of 30 officers, police pulled students and community members from the doorways they were blocking, telling people trying to enter the building it was “occupied.”

The protesters were cited one by one in the lobby of the building, where police had established a booking station,before being released.

UC police Capt. Bill Cooper said the university has not seen a protest of this magnitude since ethnic studies supporters locked down Barrows Hall in 1998.

The demonstrators continued to block the three doorways as police made arrests at two of them. Students and faculty entered the building through a door guarded by officers.

Police removed the chains from doors, as they presented a fire hazard and potential code violation, said acting campus fire marshall Dennis Mueting.

While the bulk of police action took place inside the building’s lobby and entrances, speakers rallied on the steps in front of the building.

“We chose Wheeler because it’s geographically strategic,” said Noura Erakat, a junior majoring in developmental studies who was arrested. “While [in Palestine] I saw how just because I had an American passport, I had more privileges. It is seeing post-colonial textbooks come to life.”

Activists proclaimed the need for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine and the need for the UC system to rid itself of any indirect involvement in the turmoil in the Middle East, which has resulted in thousands of deaths.

“Now it’s largely a symbolic action, in solidarity with Palestine,” said Snehal Shingavi, who was given a citation by police for obstructing the doorway.

Shingavi said the protesters were using their “critical thinking tools” to pressure the UC Regents to divest the university system from such companies as Nokia, General Electric, and Hewlett Packard – all of which have heavy ties in Israel.

“It’s really disgusting that they are willing to do this to people protesting peacefully,” he said.

The protesters, most of whom are members of Students for Justice in Palestine, said they knew they could be arrested if they blocked people from entering the building at all of the doors.

But with a 40-person team, the protesters spanned out and blocked the few doors not chained shut, telling those trying to get in to “turn around and ask your regents to negotiate.”

Some students pushed their way through demonstrators at the doorway, while others climbed through first-story windows to get to class and others turned away.

Rosenberg, a member of the committee.

Richard Cain, who watched the demonstration, said he thought the protest was misguided.

“I think they want to pick something to attack, and the university is an easy target,” he said. “To me it doesn’t do much good to scream and yell about Hewlett Packard.”

Florida State U. Students Support Marijuana Legalization

By Claes Bell Florida Flambeau

(U-WIRE) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Millions of Americans have smoked marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, despite its illegality.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws hopes to end marijuana prohibition and is getting help from students on campuses all over the country, including Floriday State University.

NORML was founded in 1970 and has since become the principle advocate for marijuana decriminalization in the country. Throughout its 30-year history, the organization has relied on college students for support and manpower.

“There are around 35 NORML chapters on U.S. campuses,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the NORML Foundation.

Since NORML’s founding, marijuana legalization for both medicinal and recreational use has become an important political issue. Last year over 700,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in the U.S., according to the national NORML Web site.

This mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders and the cost it incurs have brought the marijuana legalization debate to the forefront.

Marijuana legalization initiatives have appeared in several states, including California and Arizona, as reported by the ACLU.

Politicians, however, have been reluctant to embrace decriminalization for many different reasons.

The FSU chapter of NORML is an active campus organization with a significant following and strong leadership. According to FSU NORML head Chris Mulligan, the group has over 500 students on its mailing list and an attendance rate of about 200 students at its major events.

Because of rules governing student organizations, NORML largely limits its activities to educating students. Through petitioning, protesting and circulating pro-legalization literature, the group has worked hard to change minds among Florida officials and FSU students.

There are four levels of drug classification in the United States. Each classification measures the potential for medical use, the potential for abuse and any other safety problems. The highest level of classification is Schedule I.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has classified marijuana as Schedule I.

According to the DEA’s website, this means that the drug has a higher potential for abuse, the drug has no currently accepted medical uses as a treatment in the United States and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. LSD, heroin and cocaine are also classified as Schedule I drugs.

Enforcement of marijuana laws has beefed up recently, according to the NORML website. According to the group, years of government misinformation and persecution surrounding marijuana use has led to an adverse image of the drug among some Florida voters.

“I don’t think (legislators) will legalize it because it would be the gateway to the legalization of all drugs,” sophomore Neil Potter said.

While obstacles like an anti-marijuana media bias and a lack of support among politicians hamper legalization, NORML remains confident about the demise of federal marijuana prohibition. The group claims that upwards of 70 percent of FSU students favor decriminalization, at least for medicinal purposes. This is consistent with a 1998 CNN poll which showed 96 percent of Americans favored medicinal marijuana legalization.

“I think it will eventually be legal for personal use,” sophomore Kirsten Dahlquist said. “Granted, there will be binge users as with alcohol, but just like alcohol it shouldn’t be illegal.”

Still, St. Pierre refuses to put a concrete date on when this will happen. Support for decriminalization has ebbed and flowed frequently since the group’s formation. However, it is more committed to its goals, despite this constant shift in the political climate.

“I think legalization is inevitable, because I know there are people who have dedicated their lives to this cause,” graduate student Toni Latino said.

Police Use Pepper Spray To Break Up Party at Brown U.

(U-WIRE) PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University Police and Security has opened an investigation to determine whether its officers used pepper spray to disperse students from an off-campus party at 150 Waterman St. early Sunday morning.

Although all 10 party-goers The Herald has contacted reported coughing from what many think was pepper spray, none could say for sure whether the spray came from BUPS or Providence Police Department officers. No one could speculate on the reasons for using the pepper spray.

Jeff Melgaard, a Boston University junior who was visiting a friend at Brown, said he “was right on the front line” at the party.

“I saw the police spray something down at a diagonal angle” after the police cleared the party and party-goers were gathering outside, Melgaard said. “I thought that they might have been testing it out. People started to shout and back away. I heard no warnings.”

“I distinctly remembered that my eyes were itchy and burning,” he said.

BUPS’ Col. Paul Verrecchia confirmed that he has opened an investigation to determine whether BUPS officers were involved in the incident, and if so, “whether they acted in accordance with our policy.”

Jeb Boniakowski (’02) said he could not identify the spray’s source because the parking lot next to 150 Waterman Street., where the party-goers had been asked to move, became too chaotic.

Thomas Pepinsky (’01) said he left the party moments before police allegedly sprayed the crowd with pepper spray. As he walked down the street he said he “saw both Brown and Providence Police” cruisers lining the street.

The Herald contacted five PPD officers on Monday and Tuesday, but none of them would talk directly about the incident.

The only PPD source who would comment asked not to be named. He said PPD officers were at 150 Waterman Street on Sunday morning and that BUPS had “asked us to help them break up a party.”

The source could not verify if PPD sprayed anything in the air, but said “pepper spray is used on occasion to break up large parties.”

A PPD officer told The Herald Tuesday night that party-goers have on occasion sprayed pepper spray at police.

Harvard Site Vandalized

(U-WIRE) CAMBRIDGE,Mass. – Pre-frosh weekend is most likely the time of the year when the Harvard Web site of the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid sees its heaviest traffic-and a highly inconvenient time for the site to fall prey to the work of a hacker.

On Friday, a message with the words, “Q vergonha, defaced by USDL, Harvard sux …” appeared on the Web site that normally displays the home page for the admissions office.

Director of Admissions Marilyn McGrath-Lewis said the hacker had been identified, but declined to comment on the person’s identity.

“It’s our understanding that the source from which this hacking occurred was one to which several hundred other hacking jobs can be attributed,” McGrath-Lewis said.

She added the admissions office was not sure whether the Web site was hacked into from a foreign site, which might have been implied by the hacker’s message.

The Web site was offline for at least a day before it was reloaded to the web in its original form.

“We provide a Web site for quick, easy access to this information. It’s a form of communication that we have found very helpful, and it’s extremely inconvenient when we can’t rely on that,” McGrath-Lewis said.

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