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ACTION ALERT: Cal Poly Students Threatened for Protesting Raytheon's Weapons


May 29, 2018
CODEPINK and Change.org

On April 19, 2018, members of the SLO Peace Coalition entered the Cal Poly Career Fair with the intent of peacefully bringing a message about war profiteers to Raytheon's booth. Raytheon creates many of the weapons used in illegal killings of innocent civilians across the world. After 15 minutes, the nonviolent, song-based protesters left peacefully. Two weeks later, they were informed they were under investigation for violating the University's Student Code of Conduct.

https://www.change.org/p/cal-poly-office-of-student-rights-and-responsibilities-drop-the-investigation-into-peaceful-anti-war-protesters

ACTION ALERT: Cal Poly Students
Threatened for Protesting Raytheon's Weapons

CODEPINK and Change.org


The Real News (April 17, 2018)

ACTION: Drop the investigation into peaceful anti-war protesters!

(May 26, 2018) -- On April 19th, 2018, members of the SLO Peace Coalition entered the Cal Poly Career Fair with the intent of peacefully bringing a message about war profiteers to Raytheon's booth. Raytheon creates many of the weapons used in lethal and illegal killings of innocent civilians across the world. Their employees, many of whom are Cal Poly graduates, make a killing on killing.

Just last month, over 50 of Raytheon's Tomahawk missiles were dropped on Syria by President Trump. The SLO Peace Coalition sought to criticize and highlight Raytheon's role in the war economy, and the billions of dollars spent on war and militarism instead of education, housing, and healthcare.

The nonviolent, song-based protest lasted about 15minutes; the students then left, peacefully, of their own accord, without ever being asked to leave.

About two weeks after the protest, members of the SLO Peace Coalition received notification from Cal Poly administration that they had violated the University's Student Code of Conduct, and were under investigation with sanctions pending.

This is the same public university system, which, barely more than a week earlier, defended another student's "free speech" right to wear blackface. So why the disproportionate response to these peaceful protesters?

We certainly don't think it's a coincidence that retired Raytheon CEO William H. Swanson is chairman of the Cal Poly Foundation, and has donated $10 million to the university's golf program. For a public university -- or, frankly, any institution -- to defend the interests of a multi-millionaire war-profiteer over the free speech of students who were nonviolently calling for peace is appalling.

The SLO Peace Coalition is standing up to the war machine. They have been engaged in organizing a campaign to divest Cal Poly from war, and move its investments into life-affirming solutions for our own communities. This latest action shows how Cal Poly values the profits of war over democracy and free speech.

We in the Divest from the War Machine Coalition stand with the students of the SLO Peace Coalition and defend their right to nonviolently protest for peace. Sign the petition below demanding that Cal Poly drop their investigation of these student activists. And then send this tweet to the Cal Poly President asking why he is allowing students to be investigated for nonviolent protest.

ACTION: Drop the investigation into peaceful anti-war protesters!

The Cal Poly Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is investigating and threatening sanctions against students who participated in a peaceful and nonviolent anti-war protest against Raytheon, a defense contractor, at the Cal Poly Career Fair. Join us in our call for Cal Poly administration to drop the investigation, create a more peaceful campus, and stand up for free speech and our right to non-violent protest!

The SLO Peace Coalition is in the middle of a campaign to get Cal Poly to divest from war and weapons. As a part of our campaign to highlight how the war machine is embedded in Cal Poly, we protested the Raytheon booth at our campus’ career fair.

On April 19th, 2018, members of the SLO Peace Coalition entered the Cal Poly Career Fair with the intent of peacefully and non-disruptively protesting Raytheon's booth. Raytheon creates many of the weapons used in lethal and illegal killings of innocent civilians across the world. Their employees, many of whom are Cal Poly graduates, make a killing on killing.

Just last month, over 50 Raytheon Tomahawk missiles were dropped on Syria by President Trump. Additionally, the chairman of Cal Poly’s Foundation Board is former Raytheon Executive William Swanson. In our action, the SLO Peace Coalition sought to criticize and highlight Raytheon’s role in the war economy, and the billions of dollars spent on war and militarism instead of education, housing, and healthcare.

Approximately two weeks after this protest, SLO Peace Coalition members received an email from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities alleging that they had violated the University's Student Code of Conduct for an unpermitted sign as well as willfully and substantially disrupting university business.

This happened barely more than a week after Cal Poly's administration decided not to sanction someone who did blackface as well as someone who sexually assaulted more than seven people. There have been countless other incidents of bigotry and harassment that have gone unpunished. While we are not sure what the sanctions will be, student peace activists are scared the university will threaten their futures.



Our actions to highlight how war and militarism are impacting our university has resulted in a disproportionate backlash that exemplifies how the war machine is controlling our campus. We have a right to peaceful protest and we will not be silenced.

Please sign our petition to join us in our call for Cal Poly administration to drop the investigation, create a more peaceful campus, and stand up for free speech and our right to non-violent protest!

A live stream of the entire event, start to finish, can be found here: www.facebook.com/slopeace/videos/356354044876269/
More information on the SLO Peace Coalition can be found here: www.facebook.com/slopeace

The CODEPINK Divest Team: Sarah, Rita, Nancy, Taylor, Jodie, Natasha, Brie, Medea

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