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Seven demonstrators were arrested last week after staging a sit-in at a Georgia Board of Regents meeting. The demonstrators, who included GSU students and members of Georgia’s Muslim community, were protesting Georgia’s ban on undocumented students.
Here are thoughts from two members of the Atlanta Muslim community who were a part of the protest:
"I was motivated to join the protest and sit-in because as an Arab American Muslim woman, I know the struggles of a person who is a minority and is targeted by unjust, discriminatory U.S. policies. Although I'm a U.S. citizen who was born in Panama City, Florida and I do not identify as Latino, I believe it is important to fight for social justice issues of other minorities because we are, as a society, all hurting from unjust policies 4.1.6 and 4.3.4, because they do not only target undocumented students, but they affect our society as a whole and keep us from excelling. Yesterday, we sat in silence and stood and chanted as the civil rights leaders before us have.
As we protested and were removed in handcuffs, I felt the power and strength that a few individuals could have over a high-level institution, and I've never felt more powerful than that moment.
Yet, during my experience in the 9 hours that followed at the Fulton County Jail, I've never felt more powerless and humiliated. It was a difficult experience created by exhausted, overworked officers who tried to mentally and emotionally break me and the other inmates.
I was lucky to get out before nightfall, but my mind is with the people we met at the jail, mostly mothers, some of whom were unrightfully arrested, who had to spend the night while their children were at home.
The experience further motivated me to work to end injustice in the criminal justice system. We will not stop until we attain liberation for all people. As Dr. King famously said, "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"On Tuesday at 9 a.m. Undocumented students from Freedom University and 20 student allies disrupted a Georgia Board of Regents public meeting and held their own hearing on the negative economic impact and moral implications of Georgia’s admissions bans on undocumented students while showing the board of regents how simple it is to repeal policies 416 and 434.
Out of the 19 Board of Regents members, only one has an educational background. We already invested in the education of undocumented students from K-12 and it doesn’t make any sense to throw out that investment and prohibit them from higher learning.
I first heard about Freedom University when People were arrested at Georgia State University to protest this ban. I only heard about it through Joel Solow who leads the fight for 15 dollars minimum wage. I wanted to do more and he connected me with Freedom University.
It is our religious duty to change wrongs when we can as the Hadith says “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]”
Policy 434 and 416 is wrong. It keeps people out of top Universities and forces them to pay out of state tuition for two year colleges or private universities. We decided as people of faith to ally with those working to change unjust policies."
Elhuni, Mubarak and other activists are calling on supporters to demand that the Board of Regents to lift the ban on undocumented students found in policies 4.1.6 and 4.3.4, and call on businesses and people to boycott Georgia until the ban is lifted.
Follow Freedom University on Facebook and share our photos with the hashtag #BoycottGeorgia.
all photo credits to Freedom University Georgia
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