On our 8th Day of the hunger strike, we remain wholly disappointed in our University’s President, Leslie Wong and Provost, Sue Rosser. On May 6th, Students offered a chance for the President to show a gesture of good faith. We asked the President to show a commitment towards our Seventh Demand, with the hiring of Black faculty for Department of Africana studies within the College of Ethnic Studies. Demand Seven focused on the implementation of Pacific Islander Studies, enrichment of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas program, and departmental status of Race and Resistance studies. The Third World Liberation Front 2016 (TWLF2016) felt that the language in Wong’s response was inconclusive because it failed to include any specific information on how the demands would be implemented. Additionally, TWLF2016 felt the administration’s decision to only agree to fund the Pacific Islander Studies program, while ignoring the Black faculty hires, departmental status and hires of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) and Race and Resistance Studies was a tactic meant to internally divide the College and the students. Further, after the coalition of SFSU Students joined together to demonstrate against the racist mayor of Occupied Jerusalem on our campus, members of our community, specifically, the General Union of Palestine Students are being targeted by President Wong, his administration, and 3rd party organizations through an investigation that represents tactics of intimidation, discrimination, and further silencing of the students’ rights to the 1st Amendment.
The Third World Liberation Front and the Campaign to Defend and Advance Ethnic Studies remains in solidarity with its students and staff and feels that the administration has blatantly disregarded the power of students at San Francisco State University. Because of the combative and condescending nature shown from President Leslie Wong and Provost Sue Rosser, the TWLF and the community has the following statement:
San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong and Provost Sue Rosser,
The Hunger Strike for Ethnic Studies demands that the negotiations around the $8 million needed to advance the College of Ethnic Studies begin immediately. We expect these negotiations to begin Monday, May 9 at 9:00am, and to be concluded by Wednesday, May 11th 11:00am or our tactics will escalate. We have the attention and support of our student body, of our San Francisco Community, and of those fighting for social justice throughout the country-and even throughout the world. President Wong and Provost Rosser, this is an opportunity to be on the right side of history. Let the legacy be that of student needs and not that of student oppression. In the spirit of San Francisco State and the Third World Liberation Front, we must insist on our needs by any means necessary. We encourage the offices of President Leslie Wong and Provost Sue Rosser to contact Associated Student Body President, Shannon Deloso, immediately to begin these negotiations. We must reach an agreement that satisfies the Hunger Strikers for the fight to Defend and Advance the College of Ethnic Studies.
Our communities around the Nation and World
The time to impose our united power towards those who wish to oppress us, is now. The struggle at San Francisco State over Relevant Education and Racial Injustice are unfortunately not unique nor are they isolated tactics to our campus and community. We call on all campuses throughout the United States to begin mobilizing themselves in the name of Ethnic Studies. We encourage our community and allies to begin mobilizing to resist the gentrification of San Francisco State University. Our work as a coalition is to put an end to the systemic racism that invests in the mass incarceration of our people, instead of the enrichment and advancement in their education. We must stand together to resist the systemic racism that has allowed murdering police forces to go unpunished. We must resist the systemic racism that has allowed the mass displacement of San Francisco’s community. We must resist the systematic racism that targets Pro-Palestine and Pro-Justice voices on U.S. institutions. It is time we rise up as the people and put end to the systematic silencing of our narratives and communities.
We will rise above as a community. We must Resist, we must Liberate, we must Educate, we must will WIN at all costs.
“It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win. It is our duty to love each other and to protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains”
–Mama Assata Shakur
The Third World Liberation Front
The Campaign to Defend and Advance Ethnic Studies
Historical Organizations of San Francisco State University