Berkeley Black Student Union Wants Building Renamed For Cop-Killer


Convicted of murdering a state trooper, FBI-designated terrorist

(Truth Revolt) The University of California Berkeley’s Black Student Union has issued a list of demands to the administration that, if not met, BSU says, will demonstrate that the school “has not prioritized the dire needs of black students on this campus.” Among the demands is the renaming of one building after Assat Shakur, a convicted cop-killer and FBI-designated Black Liberation Army terrorist.

The demands follow the hanging of effigies depicting lynchings in December by a group of social justice artists who described themselves as a “Bay Area collective of queer, black and PoC artists.” Since the demonstration, BSU and Chancellor Nick Dirks have been in dialog about how to improve the recruitment and retention of African American students, which constitute only 3 percent of the student body currently. Recently BSU released a list of demands for the administration, which includes the hiring of two black admissions members, two psychologists who will be able to sympathize with the “racially hostile” climate of the campus, and the creation of black student development center.

Also included on the list is a demand that has many stunned: that the current home of the Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies and African American Studies programs, Barrows Hall, be renamed for Shakur. WND provides some background on the fugitive cop-killer Shakur:

Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard, was convicted in 1977 for the 1973 murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop, where, during an altercation, she took the officer’s gun and shot him twice in the head as he lay on the ground.

Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army, escaped from prison in New Jersey in 1979 and resurfaced in Cuba in 1984, where she was given political asylum. The BLA is credited with killing more than a dozen police officers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Shakur, placed on the FBI’s Most-Wanted Terrorist list in 2013, is the aunt of late rapper, Tupac Shakur. There is currently a $2,000,000 reward for her capture.

Despite the conviction and her current fugitive status, Shakur portrays herself as a victim. In December, Shakur published an open letter describing herself as a “20th century escaped slave,” who was forced, due to “government persecution,” to “flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.”

The students gave Dirks the deadline of Tuesday, March 17 to reply, saying in a press release that if he did not it would reveal that he has not “prioritized the dire needs of black students on this campus.”

A spokesman for the chancellor said that the issue of black student recruitment and retention were addressed in a letter outlining black student-oriented initiatives sent last week.

The demand for the renaming of Barrows Hall after Shakur went unanswered.

Upset about the administration’s failure to address each of their specific demands, Berkeley’s BSU has vowed to continue to pressure the university. “We will persevere until we get what we need and what we deserve,” said BSU’s co-chair of political affairs.
—Courtesy of Truth Revolt

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