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Students demand police accountability on U of MN president’s front lawn

By staff |
May 1, 2021
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Students for A Democratic Society protest at Eastcliff Mansion, the home of Univ
Students for A Democratic Society protest at Eastcliff Mansion, the home of University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - Students for A Democratic Society (SDS) held a sit-in at Eastcliff Mansion, the home of University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, April 30, to demand police accountability on campus, community control of the police, and to divest from the West Command Task Force. The occupation lasted from noon to 6 p.m. and had an extensive program which included marshal training, cop watch, know your rights training, an explanation of CPAC, and a discussion of disability justice and policing.

The sit-in ended with a rally where community members and students spoke. Almost 100 people attended the rally, while even more came throughout the day to hear the workshops and training.

Andy Oien, an SDS member, frustrated with the lack of response to SDS’s and students’ demands for more police accountability, said, “that’s why we’re out here today, because we are tired of the inaction, we’re tired of her [Gabel] complimenting the UMPD while ignoring us.” Jalisa Sang, another member of SDS declared, “we’re here and we will continue to fight until our demands are met.”

Angered by Joan Gabel’s ongoing history of inaction, students and community members occupied her lawn to demonstrate that although she may try to ignore the voices of the university community, at the end of the day it is the students’ tuition that pays for her mansion.