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Georgia students occupy universities to protest racist Supreme Court decision

By Maggie Kilgo |
February 3, 2016
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(Photo from Freedom U Georgia Facebook page)

Atlanta, GA - 14 student activists were arrested for occupying classrooms at three different universities in Georgia, the evening of Feb. 1 and early morning Feb. 2. They were part of an action of more than 90 students from more than ten different universities who were protesting the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling banning undocumented students from suing the Board of Regents to gain in-state tuition. The court ruling effectively upholds the state’s policy that bans undocumented students from Georgia’s top five public colleges and universities.

The students staged the sit-ins at the University of Georgia in Athens and at two universities in Atlanta - Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology - to seek statements from the schools’ presidents that denounce both the ban on undocumented students and the Supreme Court’s decision.

The student’s actions coincided with the 56th anniversary of the first Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in of Feb. 1, 1960, during which four young Black men were arrested for ordering coffee at a segregated lunch counter. In the legacy of these courageous men, the occupiers demanded an end to Georgia’s racist segregationist policies against undocumented immigrant students. One student, Victor Morales, said in a statement that he was inspired by the North Carolina men, saying, “The Greensboro Four showed me the power of being committed to a goal beyond myself and what it means to be free.”