Free Speech at Pace University
Campus Antiwar Network
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We are outraged that your school is charging two students, Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone, with potential expulsion from school for engaging in a peaceful protest.
In the interest of free speech, we demand that you drop ALL charges against Brian and Lauren, and that your administration cease any harassment of the Pace University Campus Antiwar Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and any other activist organizations.
Yesterday we (Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone) were threatened with disciplinary actions ranging from warnings to expulsion: all for holding a peaceful rally, handing out educational flyers about Bill Clintons war crimes, and holding regular CAN/SDS meetings at our school.
Yesterday, the Pace University Dean of Students disrupted our regular joint Campus Antiwar Network (C.A.N.) and Students for a Democratic Society (S.D.S.) meeting citing a university policy against "unrecognized student organizations" reserving or using university space. This occurred after an event we held on Sunday where I (Brian Kelly) called Bill Clinton a "war criminal" with my friend and fellow anti-war activist Lauren Giaccone, citing his atrocities around the world during his presidency. We were not charged with any violation; however, we were detained and threatened by both Secret Service agents and various police officers.
For more information about what happened at the event, including the threats made to us and the illegal searches that occurred please visit the following link:
When I got back to my dorm I found:
An envelope from my university on the ground near my front door. Inside the envelope was a letter from Pace stating that they are pursuing disciplinary actions against me for the following:
1. Failure to register a rally
2. Violation of distribution and solicitation policy
3. Reservation of university space by an unrecognized organization
These charges are an attempt to stop us from voicing our opinions and exercising our constitutional rights to free speech, press, and assembly. Paces message to students and the community is clear: We do not recognize constitutional rights.
Any of these charges can carry penalties ranging from verbal warnings to expulsion.
We believe the only chance to challenge these charges is to make sure that Pace knows that the world is watching them.
We are challenging President Caputo and the University not only on this instance, but also on their attack on civil liberties around the university, their enforced apolitical atmosphere, their union-busting activities, and the presence of Homeland Security agents on campus.
Thanks for your support!
President, Pace Campus Antiwar Network
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