UPDATE February 2011: The UNO Five have all gone through the court system, and come out relatively unscathed despite the petulant and false accusations of the UNO Chief of Police. All 5 pled guilty to minor offenses in order to get past the limbo of criminal charges hanging over their heads. All were sentenced to ONLY court costs or tiny fines, for an incident that brought statewide attention to the dismantling of UNO.
The UNO Five are the 5 students arrested and suspended as a result of the police brutality and abuse that occurred during the Sept. 1st protest against budget cuts at UNO.
The police over-reacted that day, and in trying to justify their own incompetence in handling crowds and their violence against the students they are supposed to be protecting (including use of batons, mace, and fists against non-violent protestors) they’ve falsely charged 5 students with crimes. After which, because UNO automatically suspends students charged with crimes on campus, all 5 have also been suspended.
Why is it that UNO is attacking the very people who’ve demonstrated that they care about the school THE MOST by actually getting active and protesting in order to defend it? What message does this send to everyone else on campus about what kind of thanks they’ll get if they speak out?
We want justice for the 5 wrongly accused students, and we need your help to make sure it happens!
-Keep checking this blog and come out to support the UNO Five when they have court dates. Dress nicely and show that students are united in fighting the budget cuts and demanding respect for peaceful protests on our campus. (First court date is on Dec. 15th, more info coming soon)
-Organize a protest at the UNO PD building calling for charges to be dropped, because this repression cannot stand up to the light of day. The only way they can get away with this is if people don’t find out.
-Ask Provost Joe King why he is allowing Chief Harrington and UNO PD to ruin 5 young adults’ futures over a single day of protest?
-Publicize the case of the UNO 5 in any way you can. The more people, and especially UNO Alumni, know about this injustice, the harder it will be to get away with.
-Above all, continue organizing to fight the budget cuts so that the brutality and arrests faced by these 5 students were not in vain.
UNO PD has made it clear that will handle future protests over budget cuts in a similar manner, but that depends on whether they can get away with this railroading this time or not. These arrests were completely random and unjustified. At the next protest, it could be you.