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March 31, 2008

D-Q University Update: Arrests of Students and Elders

As it was agreed at the resolution circle at the last National Conference, we stand in solidarity with the students of DQ University. It is now time to take further action, as a series of events unfolded early this morning.

On Sunday night there was news that the Board of Trustees had hired a locksmith to come and change the locks on campus, and that the Sheriff's department would be there to make sure the students were taken out to insure the locks were changed.

That same night, about 30-40 supporters from Santa Cruz, Quebec, San Jose, Davis, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Woodland, arrived to keep guard throughout the night. At around 4 am 3 police cars showed up, but were not able to get through because the entrance had been blocked. After a false alarm, the cops left.

On Monday morning at around 9:30 am police surrounded the property, including the place where the sweat was about to begin and started to arrest people (including a mujer who went there only with the idea of the sweat, and had no part in the occupation). While students were inside the dorms, and cops banged loud on one of the doors trying to get in, some of us were able to walk out as others were arrested. 17 in total (one of them a MEChistA)

Those of us, who were able to leave, were told to run or we would be arrested, within our group there was a mujer with a baby present.

Cops blocked the entrance for hours and did not let us in with the excuse that we could not step on a "crime scene" (the crime being trespassing) The board was present at all times, and did nothing to stop the arrests, they just took pictures and laughed.

A mujer resisted and remained in the property until late hours because she climbed a tree. Cops were not able to get her down.

An elder mujer was released earlier than the others because of medical reasons. 13 of the people arrested were later released at around 4 pm. The other 3 were let out at around 9:30 pm.

There were a lot of complaints of mistreatment, neglect, and disrespect towards those arrested. In one instance, one of the mujeres who was pregnant was in pain and she was neglected. There will be complaints filed soon.

Students and supporters are not allowed to retrieve their belongings (including cars) until a member of the board is able to be present, she was contacted and she said that she would only be able to be there until 4:30 pm.

There are a few students re-occupying as I'm sending this.

We ask you all that are not able to physically be there, that send us your prayers and your messages of support. Also contact these members of the board of trustees and let them know that you stand behind the students and that you condemn their unjustified actions.

Margaret
707 354 1802

Jane
916 334 1213

Shirley
916 719 6328

Calvin
916 752 7755

For more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

En solidaridad,

Guambry Santillan
MEChA de Sac City College
Alta Califas Norte

Below is the Press Release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday March 31, 2008

Press Contacts:
Manuel Santana: (408) 914-1079 spicband@yahoo.com
Ignacio Barragan: (714) 423-0716 ibarragan@ucdavis.edu
Lupita Torres: (408) 529-3849 peetuhpocket@yahoo.com


D-Q UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND ELDERS ARRESTED EARLY THIS MORNING
Vigil Planned in Front of the Yolo County Detention Center Later This Evening

Davis, CA- Student Leaders at Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl are preparing a demonstration at 5:30 pm tonight in front of the Yolo County Detention Facility after a series of arrests that took place today on D-Q University campus early this morning around 9:30 am. Seventeen Youth and Elders were arrested, most without being given the option of leaving.

The Board of Trustees, accompanied by the Yolo County Sheriff's Department have attempted to remove all the students from campus and brought in a locksmith to replace all the locks. One supporter remains on campus - having climbed up a tree, with the Sheriffs waiting to remove her. Another community supporter was threatened by the police to have the CPS called on her when she begged the Sheriffs to get permission to remove her baby's diapers and needs from the campus.

The Associated Student Body of D-Q University is sending out an urgent appeal to the community to come and show their support against this great injustice. They encourage community members and media to arrive and participate in the student's demonstration action and vigil. On its own, the Student Body of D-Q U is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that currently holds the only classes at D-Q University, California's ONLY Tribal College.

The Board of Trustees has not functioned to serve its purpose towards attaining re-accreditation, holding classes on campus, hiring a new administration, and/or bringing in funding for the school in the 3 years since their inception. The board has also been canceling meetings, having not met for the last 2 months, which highlights their inability to manage, run or organize a functioning institution.

In response to this neglect, the community has united with the students to implement a new board. The current Student Leaders hold numerous programs and workshops such as the Indigenous Perma-culture Program, bio-diesel workshops and bi-weekly ceremony on campus, despite constant harassment from former board members. Students are actively searching for teachers who can further develop a new curriculum and new board members to apply for membership.

The Native and Chicano communities around Yolo and Sacramento Counties agree that the Board of Trustees are incompetent and has repeatedly failed to re-implement the educational mission of the school - a mission that seeks to unify all Indigenous people and create a harmonious relationship with the community. This embodies continued commitment towards both traditional and formal higher education for all Indigenous people.

Please support the D-Q U 3 on their court date
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 8:30am
Yolo County Superior Court
725 Court Street
Woodland, CA 95695
(530) 406-6700.

We are requesting letters written by the community be sent to the CA Office of the Attorney General Jerry Brown in support of the Associated Body of D-Q University.

The Associated Student Body will be hosting a Pow Wow on Sunday, April 6, 2008. The community is invited to attend a Planting of the Corn Ceremony, which will happen in conjunction with the Pow Wow, to welcome in the new Spring Season and celebrate Mother Earth. Applications for enrollment into the new Board of Trustees will also be accepted on this day.

For more information visit http://www.myspace.com/dquniversity or contact one of our coordinators.

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