We write in response to your email message of Friday November 18th 2011. We appreciate yourresponsibility to ensure a safe environment for all members of our campus community. However, in our view, non-violent student action is not a threat to campus safety, whereas police brutality is.
We strongly condemn the use of pepper spray and batons against peaceful protest. Taxpayers, whether they are students, staff, faculty or members of other communities have the right to assemble and protest peacefully without being subjected to the use of pre-emptive violence. Police must not use violence when they are ordered to arrest peaceful protesters who break the law for refusing to leave segregated lunch counters, change seats on buses, or leave public spaces when ordered to do so.
The economic, social, and psychological costs of police aggression and the damage to our reputation as an institution of higher learning far outweigh the costs the protest itself incurred. Following the Principles of Community that you have espoused, we ask that anyone who ordered or approved the use of force against peaceful protesters take responsibility and be held accountable. We also ask that you apologize to the students and the university community and express profound regret for the decisions you made in responding to the protest. This would bethe most productive way to begin healing our campus.