L.A. Lawyers Call for Defense of Student Protestors

Revolution #024, November 27, 2005, posted at revcom.us

A press conference was held in front of the L.A. Unified School District on Nov. 15 to salute the students who walked out on Nov. 2 and to defend their right to protest. The following are excerpts from statements made at the press conference by two lawyers from the World Can't Wait Legal Action Committee.

Aaron Laub:

"Fifty percent of the students in the L.A. Unified School district drop out. But the ones that are here today and the ones who protested on November 2 are not part of that 50%. They’re part of the 50% whose circumstances have not driven them out of school, whose alienation has not reached the level where they have no hope in remaining in school. These are the students who are hoping to participate in society.

"In protesting they are carrying out an honorable tradition in America, one of standing up against those injustices that cannot be remedied without protest. I did it when I was a high school student--as many of you can see that was many decades ago--and others are doing it today. The reason why many of us are doing this today is because any time there is protest there is repression. It comes in many forms and usually it requires that lawyers participate and help those who are practicing their rights to free speech. That’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re hoping other lawyers will do. This is a call to all those in the legal community to contact the World Can’t Wait and state that you want to help those who have the courage to stand up for what they believe to be right."

Susan Basko:

"The United States Supreme Court has stated in a very famous case that students do not leave their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door. Students have a right to have political opinions and to voice those political opinions. Students have a right to pass out flyers with a political theme and a right to voice their opinions and to participate in protests . . .

"Geovany was passing out flyers. He was arrested and pepper sprayed. He’s under house arrest. He cannot leave his home, unless to go to school. He has an ankle bracelet that monitors where he is. His phone is under phone surveillance--in other words his phone is being tapped. This type of repression is not acceptable to the people who are in the lawyers committee for the World Can’t Wait. We welcome anyone who is being repressed to get in touch with us. We are hoping that the school district will transfer Geovany back into his school and he can go to the school where he belongs in. He’s a good student and is well liked. We’re looking forward to them agreeing with this."

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