Wednesday, May 23, 2007

At Cheadle Hall Camp Site, UCSB Hunger Strikers to Announce Major Campaign Breakthroughs, End of Their Fast

May 23, 2007

Ellen McClure, 2nd-year student: (858) 663-9326
Maia Kazaks, 3rd year student: (805) 284-2342
Andrew Culp, hunger strike technical advisor: (816) 522-0255

WHAT: Press Conference
WHEN: 12 p.m.
WHERE: In front of Cheadle Hall, UCSB
WHO: “No More Nukes In Our Name” Hunger Strikers

Only a few days after collectively breaking their fast, the UCSB contingent of the multi-campus “No Nukes In Our Name!” hunger strikers will hold a press conference to announce the multiple breakthrough successes that resulted from this recent bold act of civil resistance. They will also announce some of the next steps in their campaign to demilitarize the University of California.

Among the hunger strikers’ announcements will be that they have secured meetings with members of the UC Board of Regents to discuss UC nuclear weapons lab severance, a June 8th UCSB faculty senate resolution to support some of the goals of the hunger strike, and the repercussions – politically and judicially -- of their direct action at the May 17th UC Regents meeting at UC San Francisco. Thirteen people were arrested at the meeting, including 10 UC students.

“In the three years I’ve been involved in the campaign to sever the UC’s nuclear weapons ties, this is the first time I’ve seen the students put the UC Regents publicly on the defensive regarding their role as weapons lab managers,” said Will Parrish, a UC Santa Cruz alumnus and hunger striker who fasted for 11 days. “Not only that, but support for the campaign has grown immensely, among all sectors of the UC community – students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Though the hunger strike did not achieve its ultimate goal of UC weapons lab severance, we have achieved some major breakthroughs, and we are poised to achieve even bigger ones very soon, as a result of the momentum the hunger strike has created.”

Maia Kazaks, a hunger striker and third-year UCSB Environmental Studies major, said: "These recent steps have been really powerful. But we have to keep educating and keep expanding our foundation of support. This will ultimately lead not only to a nuclear-free university, but a more peaceful world."

Many of the supporters who were critical to the success of the hunger strike, including UCSB faculty members and staff, will be on hand at the press conference. After its conclusion, the hunger strikers and their supporters who camped in front of Cheadle Hall will disassemble their tent community, which is in its 15th day as of this writing.