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News :: Organizing
BU Represses Biolab Activists
16 May 2006
On Thursday, April 27, three individuals concerned with the threat posed to the Boston area by Boston University’s proposed Level 4 Biolab, funded by a $128 million grant from the National Institute of Health using Department of Homeland Security money, spoke out during the inaugural ceremony of BU’s tenth president, Robert Brown.
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At three separate points, they stood up and expressed their opinion that it is unconscionably arrogant for an elite group of academics, administrators, and government officials to bring the world’s deadliest infectious diseases to the Roxbury/South End area, the low-income community adjacent to BU’s Medical Center. The community is already disproportionately burdened with all the city’s trash transfer stations, the majority of the city’s bus depots, and numerous hazardous waste sites.

The first two protestors, who are fourth-year students of the University, were quickly escorted out by the BU police and the assistant Dean of Students. Both were informed that they were banned from campus for twenty-four hours. The third, a Boston resident, was arrested by the BU police, charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting a public ceremony and resisting arrest, and released on bail later that night.

The following day, the Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs, John T. Graff, under the direction of the Office of the Dean of Students, led by Dean Kenneth Elmore, informed students Alia Ghabra and Nell Schaefer, along with their families, that they were receiving a deferred interim suspension while an investigation was conducted.

On Thursday, May 11, Ghabra and Schaefer received their official sanctions from the University. BU extended their suspensions through May 16. This suspension continues their ban from campus and bars them from attending all University-sponsored Senior Week activities occurring both on- and off-campus and the Commencement ceremony scheduled for May 14.

This action was part of a running three year campaign of opposition to the proposed BSL-4 Lab organized by the Coalition to Ban the BU Biolab. Schaefer said, “The administration’s action is in line with the politically repressive environment that exists on BU’s campus and is entirely hypocritical of what higher education is supposed to engender: critical thinking and a responsibility to act on what is learned in the classroom.”

“Dissent should not be contained within boundaries dictated by the institutions that it is meant to affect,” added Ghabra. “What’s most upsetting about this is that by preventing us from walking in the graduation ceremony BU is punishing our families more than us,” she said.

Ghabra and Schaefer have organized an alternative graduation ceremony for family and friends for Saturday, May 13 and have distributed about 150 yellow armbands for students to wear at BU’s Commencement in solidarity with their action and the anti-Biolab campaign. The students will receive their diplomas in the mail.
See also:
http://operationover.freeyouth.net

This work is in the public domain.
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Good Work!
16 May 2006
Got to make the residence of Boston aware. For that matter? The whole state!
Too bad, more people didn't disrupt. Mass arrest draws attention.
This Bio-lab could be built in Crawford, TX.! Get it the hell out of Massachusetts!
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
18 May 2006
I support it in principle but god damn you guys are hamhanded censors. Micah and I know each other in real life and get along well.
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
20 May 2006
Help Help, I'm being repressed! Now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
20 May 2006
Wow, those two really look oppressed. Probably smoked a dooby before being arrested. Hey wait...can you be oppressed if you're not in handcuffs?
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
21 May 2006
Hopefully there will be many brave students disrupting Condi Rice at BC on 5/22 graduation 9am-1pm.There will be a planned civil disobedience at the ceremony and outside at the protest on campus.Many students and concerned members of the community are so angry at BC for daring to invite this war criminal that all hell could breakout at BC.Will BC students and teachers rise to the occaission and tell Condi to leave the campus?Raise your voices BC so Condi gets the message loud and clear!
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
21 May 2006
Where were BC Students Against the Wars waged by Bill Clinton? Oh you forgot, let me remind you of a few: Somalia, Sudan, Colombia, haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Iraq (a second time). What a bunch of hypocrites!
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
04 Jun 2006
How about instead of pointing out people's problems and faults, we look work together to change society for the better?
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
04 Jun 2006
How about instead of pointing out people's problems and faults, we look work together to change society for the better?
Re: BU Represses Biolab Activists
04 Jun 2006
How about instead of pointing out people's problems and faults, we look work together to change society for the better?