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United States: Project South & Civil Rights Orgs Denounce Mass Arrests At Emory University

Civil Rights Orgs Denounce the Georgia State Patrol, the Atlanta Police, and Emory University for Violent Mass Arrests of Students Demonstrating to End Israel's Genocide in Gaza, Demand Resignation of Emory University President

(ATLANTA, GA, 4/26/2024) – On Thursday, April 25th, Emory University and Atlanta University Center (AUC) students joined more than a dozen campuses across the country in organizing a peaceful sit-in on Emory’s campus, calling for the University to divest from both Israel and the companies that support its military operations in Gaza.

We are appalled by Emory University’s response to this student activism. Historically, there is a rich tradition of protest and engagement on university campuses. Rather than violently suppressing speech, our institutions should be proactively holding space for students, faculty, and community members to safely express their views, engage in dialogue, and participate in the democratic process.

As organizations dedicated to protecting civil rights, advocating for justice, and building power for immigrants, refugees, and working-class people of color in Georgia and the Southeast— Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Council on American-Islamic Relations Georgia, Project South, and the undersigned organizations stand with the brave students at Emory and at campuses across the country.

Student protestors and allies are actively asserting their right to protest against authoritarianism and the Israeli military operations causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Ironically, these protests against authoritarianism abroad are being met with rising authoritarianism in Georgia—evident in the actions of the State of Georgia, the City of Atlanta, and Emory University—where attempts to disband peaceful protests have resulted in violence and detentions. Protestors’ calls to end the genocide in Gaza were met with excessive force, including pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tasing.

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We at Advancing Justice-Atlanta, CAIR-Georgia, Project South, and the undersigned organizations are outraged at the State and City of Atlanta’s assault on student protestors calling for peace in Gaza. We demand more from the institutions that were built to support, protect, and educate our communities in Georgia.

We echo campus student organizations’ demands and enjoin Emory University leadership to immediately refrain from interrupting further protests, to release all protestors being held and refuse to press charges, and desist from taking punitive action against any protestors–including security of housing, course enrollment, financial aid and scholarship, and permission to graduate. We ask for the immediate withdrawal of all police and enforcement agencies from campus for the safety and protection of students. We demand that Emory University President Gregory Fenves immediately resign after failing to protect students’ and protestors’ physical safety and right to free
speech and demonstration.

We urge DeKalb County DA Sherry Boston to immediately release any detained protestors and drop any potential charges against them.

We call for the Atlanta Police Department to withdraw from the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, which continues to perpetuate militarized policing.

We stand with student protestors in Georgia and across the country in their demands for ending the occupation of Palestine and instituting a permanent ceasefire. We will continue to support the right to protest and exercise free speech, to call out authoritarianism from Georgia to Gaza.

American Friends Service Committee - South Region
Arab Americans 4Ward
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America
Atlanta Justice Alliance
Council on American Islamic Relations – Georgia
Community EsTr(El/La)
Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine - Georgia
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR)
Georgia Muslim Action Committee
Georgia Muslim Voter Project
Malaya Georgia
Migrant Equity Southeast
New Disabled South
Project South
Sur Legal Collaborative
The Rainbow Collective

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