Press conference at LAUSD board meeting
The World Canít Wait, an intern from Code Pink, Sara Escudero from Reseda H.S.,
a member of the United Teachers of L.A., the World Canít Wait Legal Action
Committee, and high school students from the L.A. area gathered for a press
conference in front of the L.A. Unified School District to congratulate all
the heroic students who participated in the November 2nd actions and to defeat†the
attacks against students†for organizing to drive out the Bush regime.
Sara Escudero, Reseda H.S. student, "I think
what the principals and officers are doing to the students is wrong . . .
we are fighting against something that is not right. For example, if you
donít think that what the Bush Regime is doing is wrong, well letís see.
What do you think about him trying to take womenís rights away?
"What happened to me and Geovany in school is a big
example for a lot of people. We won a victory in my school. We could do the
same in a lot of things if we all get united and make Bush step down."
Aaron Laub from the WCW Legal Action Committee
said, "Fifty percent of the students in the L.A. Unified School district
drop out. But the ones that are here today and the ones who protested on
November 2nd are not part of that 50%. Theyíre part of the 50% whose circumstances
have not driven them out of school, whose alienation has not reached the
level where they have no hope in remaining in school. These are the students
who are hoping to participate in society.
"In protesting they are carrying out an honorable
tradition in America, one of standing up against those injustices that cannot
be remedied without protest. I did it when I was a high school student-as
many of you can see that was many decades ago-and others are doing it today.
The reason why many of us are doing this today is because any time there
is protest there is repression. It comes in many forms and usually it requires
that lawyers participate and help those who are practicing their rights to
free speech. Thatís what weíre doing and thatís what weíre hoping other lawyers
will do. This is a call to all those in the legal community to contact the
World Canít Wait and state that you want to help those who have the courage
to stand up for what they believe to be right."
Susan Basko, a lawyer said, "The United States Supreme Court has stated in a very famous
case that students do not leave their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse
door. Students have a right to have political opinions and to voice those
political opinions. Students have a right to pass out flyers with a political
theme and a right to voice their opinions and to participate in protests
. . .
"Geovany was passing out flyers, he was arrested and
pepper sprayed. Heís under house arrest. He cannot leave his home, unless
to go to school, he has an ankle bracelet that monitors where he is. His
phone is under phone surveillance-in other words his phone is being tapped.
This type of repression is not acceptable to the people who are in the lawyers
committee for the World Canít Wait committee. We welcome anyone who is being
repressed to get in touch with us, we are hoping that the school district
will transfer Geovany back into his school and he can go to the school where
he belongs in. Heís a good student and is well liked. Weíre looking forward
to them agreeing with this."
Tony Vargas, a World Canít Wait organizer said, "In L.A. alone, on November 2nd, there were over 30 high school walkouts.
In the wake of November 2nd students all over the Los Angeles area are being
suspended, fined, and transferred out of their schools. This is a blatant
attempt to crush a movement still in its infancy. School administrators-whatever
their intentions may be-are carrying out the Bush agenda of forcing people
to go along with more and more horrors.
"A student leader from Belmont H.S. has been singled
out for organizing the November 2nd walkout there. For passing out leaflets
in school he was arrested, pepper sprayed, suspended and now heís been transferred
out of school and is facing criminal charges. This is outrageous and cannot
be allowed to stand.
"The authorities are out to punish the students. They
are out to take the heart out of this movement. But we are not gonna let
them do this. We are gonna make them back up and get the hell outta the way
for messing with out young hearts. We are gonna bring even thousands and
thousands more into the streets when Bush gives his state of the union speech
in January and drown out his message with this message: BUSH STEP DOWN AND
TAKE YOUR WHOLE PROGRAM WITH YOU."