Friday, April 23, 2010

States Attorney’s Office Occupied!!!

Gainesville, FL - Students and community members joined a third rally, April 20, demanding justice for Kofi Adu-Brempong, the African student shot in the face by university police. Over 120 people showed up at the protest, which started in the Plaza of Americas, on the University of Florida campus, and ended at the State Attorney’s office. This took place after several meetings between the Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality and the University of Florida administration - including the chief of the university police department, Linda Stump and the president, Bernie Machen.

Despite a 50/50 chance of rain, the protest kicked off with a few speakers from Students for a Democratic Society and Michael Leslie, a black professor at the University of Florida. From there, the protesters marched off of campus and into the streets, taking a lane of traffic while chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” Marching to downtown Gainesville, the protesters chanted outside the state attorney’s office and shortly afterwards occupied it. The plan was to present a list of demands to Bill Cervone, the state attorney. However, Cervone had left town earlier.

During the occupation, the angry crowd used megaphones and shouted to bring a representative of the attorney’s office out of the back rooms to answer questions. The dialogue ended with a future meeting with him. Afterwards, the Coalition went outside and continued the protest. Gainesville police, who were waiting outside, sat on the sidelines while protesters yelled, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” The day ended with several speakers and media interviews. The Coalition’s purpose for the rally was to present Cervone with the promise that if he does not side with the demands of the community then he will not keep his job as state attorney for long.

The Coalition will still continue to fight on behalf of Kofi and against police brutality.

By Jared Hamil |
April 21, 2010
Fight Back News Paper

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