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Survivor of Kent State massacre expresses support for struggle at College of DuPage

By staff |
May 1, 2015
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Alan Canfora shortly before National Guard opens fire on May 4, 1970 protest.
Alan Canfora shortly before National Guard opens fire on May 4, 1970 protest.

Glen Ellyn, IL - On April 30, the College of DuPage (CoD) Board of Trustees formally recognized a new ‘Clean Slate’ board, which voted to place the former president, Robert Breuder on administrative leave. Last month, Breuder was forced to take early leave due to a vote of no confidence by the Faculty Association, after years of struggle against his corruption and repression of academic freedom.

At the board of trustees meeting, during the section reserved for public comments immediately after the vote, a representative of CoD Students for a Democratic Society presented the following statement of solidarity that they received from Alan Canfora. Canfora was wounded on May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, killing four students.

Kent State means defend freedom of expression – support for the students and faculty of College of Dupage

Sisters and brothers - I have read about the abuses and corruption by your former president at the College of DuPage. It has been inspiring to learn of the struggles by the Faculty Association and the Students for a Democratic Society.

It takes courage to stand against an administration such as yours.

In addition to spending millions on himself and his cronies, Breuder denied faculty their role in reviewing their programs. He turned the student newspaper into a mouthpiece for his administration. He even fired an advisor and teacher when she spoke out.

Early on in his tenure, Breuder used the campus as a staging area for the police and military forces assembled to repress the protests against the summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2012.

In a move that brought CoD to my attention, he wanted the college’s “Homeland Security Education Center” named after him. The center was built on the site of a memorial constructed in the early 1970s to the student protesters who were shot at Kent and Jackson State. I am a survivor of the May 4th massacre at Kent. We were opposing the Vietnam War and the oppression of African Americans. And like your struggle, Kent and Jackson State means that freedom of expression is a just cause.

Congratulations on the victory in removing that administration.

I am confident that your continued struggle to restore education rights at CoD will be victorious.

Alan Canfora