Sunday, May 16, 2010

UC Hunger Strikers Call On Speakers To Boycott Graduation Over SB1070

May 16, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Protesters who ended a 10-day hunger strike Wednesday on the University of California at Berkeley campus called on those scheduled to speak at the school's graduation to boycott the ceremony Sunday.

Their protests have been in part a response to Arizona's new immigration law, which allows police to question people they believe are in the country illegally. On Friday, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau publicly denounced the law.

That denouncement was one of a number of demands protesters made since beginning the hunger strike outside of California Hall on May 3.

Among the group's other demands are making the UC Berkeley campus into a "sanctuary campus" for students and workers, revising student code of conduct rules, and bringing back laid-off workers.

Protesters held a rally Tuesday urging Birgeneau to meet with them to address their demands, and the chancellor met the group's negotiators Wednesday inside California Hall, said Marco Amaral, a spokesman for the hunger strikers.

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes last week called the meeting productive and said the university and protesters came to several agreements that will be officially worked out.

But now protesters say Birgeneau still hasn't met their demands on student rights, immigration and labor issues.

Berkeley officials were not immediately available for comment.

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