IGWC Coordinating Committee Denounces IU Administration’s Violence Against Peaceful Protestors

The following was shared with the Bloomingtonian:

Urgent Statement on the Escalation at Dunn Meadow

April 25, 2024

The Coordinating Committee of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition (IGWC) stands indignantly against the brutality exercised upon peaceful demonstrators at Dunn Meadow today, April 25th, by the administration of the President Pamela Whitten. Inviting Indiana State Police on the Indiana University campus to attack a peaceful protest is a violation of the most basic principles of academic freedom. This is not merely an instance of policy misstep but a glaring revelation of systemic rot—an administration forsaken by trust, ousted by its faculty, and now, a perpetrator of aggression against its own students. 

Among those violently arrested were some of our own IGWC student organizers who were peacefully assembled on Indiana University property.

We are disappointed by every single IU administrator who failed to prevent this police violence and brutality upon students they are charged with mentoring and protecting.

The brute arrests of our faculty and students, the suffocation of free speech, the trampling of assembly rights within the span of a few hours—all under the veil of “order”—unmask a regressive regime wielding its might to silence dissent. These are not the acts of leaders but the desperate clutches of those who have been repudiated by the very community they claim to serve.

The vote of no confidence levied upon President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav, and Vice Provost Carrie Docherty by IGWC and the faculty at large was a clarion call—a demand for transformation. Instead, we are met with the clangor of chains and the chill of cells. No longer can we stand idle; our solidarity is with the brave souls who exercise their First Amendment rights by standing for Palestine, for divestment from cruelty, and for the humanity that Indiana University seeks to ignore.

Our demands are unequivocal.

We demand the following immediate actions from Indiana University’s administration:

  1. The unconditional release of all individuals arrested during the non-violent protest and the dropping of all charges.
  2. A public apology to those detained and to the university community for the excessive and unjust actions taken.
  3. An immediate halt to the use of police force against peaceful demonstrators.
  4. The resignation of the three administrators for whom the faculty and graduate students have no confidence: President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav, and Vice Provost Carrie Docherty.
  5. The end of the Crane partnership.
  6. Financial divestment from “Israel” and adherence to BDS (Boycott Divest Sanctions). 

We reiterate that the disdain shown by the university administration towards peaceful demonstrators is precisely why we stand firm in our vote of no confidence. An institution that chooses violence over dialogue and force over freedom is one that betrays its mission and its people.

We call upon our community allies, academic comrades, and guardians of civil liberties to join us in condemning these actions and supporting our non-negotiable right to peaceful protest. We will not be silenced, we will not be intimidated, and we will continue to stand for justice.

Our spirit is unbreakable, our cause is righteous. We will not be muted, we will not falter. Together, we rise.

Signed,

The IGWC Coordinating Committee

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