Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

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By staff

Florida students rally in defense of diversity. | Fight Back! News/Alicia Devine

Tallahassee, FL – On January 25, about 80 students and activists from various organizations rallied outside Florida State University’s student union building, where the Board of Governors meeting voted to approve new guidelines that prohibit schools from using government funds for DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and to remove sociology from the list of classes that fulfill required general education credits.

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By staff

Kayla Patterson with UWM SDS speaks outside the campus administration during a rally and march on November 15. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – A spirited group of more two dozen student protesters gathered outside the Golda Meir Library on the afternoon of November 15 for a rally called by UW-Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The assembled group chanted and heard speeches before beginning a march throughout campus.

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By Shaine Carrol-Frey

SDS national convention held in Chicago. | Fight Back! News/staff

Chicago, IL – On October 14 and 15, roughly 180 members and affiliates of the New Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) from over 20 campuses met for their annual National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

The students came from all over the U.S. to unite under the slogan of “Students Defend Education, Unions Strike Back!” to highlight both the attacks of education, especially ethnic studies such as Black studies and American Indian studies, and the increased level of union activity in 2023. Attendees listened to panels and gave workshops over a variety of topics, sharing strategy and tactics with SDS chapters from across the country.

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By staff

Austin students resist attacks on diversity programs.

Austin, TX – On Tuesday afternoon, September 19, a group of students gathered on Speedway and 21st Street at the University of Texas at Austin to rally in defense of campus diversity programs. Since the signing of Texas Senate Bill 17 in June, diversity, equity, and inclusion offices have been banned at public universities, and the UT administration has still not taken any action to protect diversity programs on campus.

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By Elijah Lieberman

Tallahassee students march to defend diversity. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tallahassee, FL – On Wednesday, September 13, the FSU Students for a Democratic Society held a noise demo on Florida State’s campus. The demonstration began at the Integration Statue and looped around Landis Green, two of the most populated areas of campus. Students and faculty chanted “Stand up and defy! HB 999!” “Increase Black enrollment! FSU, end your silence!” and “Down with DeSantis!”

With this noise demo, the FSU SDS aims to bring attention to one of its three core campaigns for the 2023-2024 school year: “Defend Diversity @ FSU! Increase Black Enrollment!” Governor Ron DeSantis has passed bills to cut funding from diversity services throughout Florida colleges, which serves as a threat to the future of education in the state. Diversity programs were won through hard-fought struggle in the 1960s and 70s and DeSantis and his lackeys seek to reverse them. FSU is a predominantly white institution, so diversity programs, ethnic studies and multicultural groups are essential for African American, multicultural and marginalized students and faculty.

To kick off the noise demo, Joelle Nuẽz, president of FSU SDS, shouted, “FSU has consistently ignored and disrespected queer and trans students, Black students, Hispanic/Latino students, faculty, and more by ignoring the issue of attacks on diversity. We’re not going to let them ignore us anymore!”

The event was co-sponsored by VEGFSU, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, the FSU Graduate Assistants United, FSU’s Black Men in Medicine (BMM). BMM President Miffordens Registre commented on the alarming attacks on Black history within both the liberal arts and the sciences, stating “We wholeheartedly reject any notion that diverse, respo nsible doctors can be made in an environment that stifles and crosses out any mention of them in the history books and debates their legacies out of classrooms. We will fight to see people like us honored and respected in every facet of education, healthcare, and beyond!”

FSU SDS and other groups, such as FSU’s United Faculty of Florida, the campus faculty union, have attempted to get more information from administration on how HB 999 will affect specific programs of study such as African American Studies and social work, but admin has consistently dodged giving clear answers. As a result, students and faculty are publicly announcing their plans to leave Florida State by the end of this school year. In conversation with Dr. Walter Boot, a psychology professor featured in the Tallahassee Democrat last month, he stated “It is so disappointing that it has come to this. I have been at FSU for 15 years, and at one point imagined I'd spend my entire career here. But I don't recognize this place anymore.”

FSU SDS closed out the event by declaring their plans to mobilize students to the next Board of Trustees meeting, set for November 10.

#TallahasseeFL #SDS #FSUSDS #TallyCAC #DeSantis #BlackEnrollment #DEI

By staff

Students march for diversity at U.T. Arlington.

Arlington, TX – On Wednesday, March 22, the Progressive Student Union rallied over 60 students and community members at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) student center to protest the pause of diversity, equity and inclusion policies on campus. The students also rallied against bills that the Texas legislature recently proposed which seek to forbid transgender athletes from competing in events with accordance to their gender identity, and ban critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion policies in higher education.

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By staff

_Tampa 4 face felony charges _

Tampa campus police attack student protesters.

Tampa, FL – On Monday, March 6, students at the University of South Florida marched to the president's office to protest attacks against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs by Governor Ron DeSantis. Led by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the protesters marched to the building that houses the president's office and occupied the lobby to demand a meeting with the president.

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