Berkeley students continued their third day of a hunger strike to protest the recent passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
The 19 fasting students sitting outside California Hall were joined by dozens of supporters in the hopes of making their voices heard by the university administration. They have set up awnings and blankets and are threatening to fast up to a week.
The student protesters say they will not eat until Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and the university meet every one of their demands, which include “publicly denouncing Arizona SB1070, making UC Berkeley a sanctuary campus, providing extended protection for undocumented students, dropping all student-conduct charges related to the 2009-2010 campus protests, and suspending the University’s Student Code of Conduct until it is democratically reviewed,” according to the signs erected outside California Hall, the site of the strike.
The new Arizona law makes it illegal for all immigrants to reside or travel in Arizona without having a state-issued form of identification with them at all times.
Students participating in the strike were visibly outraged at the passage of the bill, as well as the fact that the University has not yet made a public statement against it. One protester, who declined to give her name, said she was also angry at the onerous punishment the university is handing out to students who protested about large fee hikes.
“Students (involved in the Wheeler Hall protest) disrupted class for one day and are facing seven months to a year suspension, while a student at U.C. San Diego hung a noose in the main library, and received just a one-week suspension. This is incredibly unjust.”
Chancellor Birgeneau has not responded to the protesters, though members of the administration have expressed dismay at the passage of AZ SB1070.