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Florida students condemn USF partnership with U.S. military

By Gage Lacharite

Tampa, FL – Over a dozen University of South Florida (USF) students gathered for a teach-in condemning USF's complicity in the continuing U.S. war on terror, Feb 11. Tampa Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee all spoke and participated.

USF has contracts and memorandums of understanding with U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). SOUTHCOM is in charge of U.S. military interventions in Latin America. This includes the use of death squads in Colombia and running the torture prisons at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

CENTCOM runs the U.S. wars and occupations in the Middle East, including both Iraq and Afghanistan. The USF memorandums of understanding give the U.S. military access to resources and space on campus to further their agenda of aggression and domination.

“USF's partnership with the military has shown that USF is interested in the continued slaughter of the people of the world. The U.S. military is responsible for the continued training of terrorists, overthrowing of sovereign governments, sanctions that result in the starvation of children and the overall maldevelopment of nations around the world. USF is complicit.”

In December it was revealed that one of the two architects behind the torture techniques at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base did his research at USF. James Elmer Mitchell received his PhD in 1986 at USF and then was paid millions to advise the CIA during the Bush torture years at Guantanamo.

Members of Tampa SDS vowed to escalate the fight against the USF administration and their cooperation with the U.S. military.

#TampaFL #AntiwarMovement #PeoplesStruggles #USSouthernCommand #UniversityOfSouthFlorida #TampaSDS #USCentralCommand