FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: media@sikhcoalition.org

 

Sikh Coalition Statement on Recent College Campus Protests

May 2, 2024 (National) — Today, the Sikh Coalition issued the following statement on recent college campus protests, the police response to said protests, and the state of the discourse around these issues:

“The Sikh Coalition is deeply disturbed by the surge of draconian responses to protests on college campuses across the nation. As a civil rights organization, we fundamentally believe in the rights of all people to demonstrate peacefully for their political beliefs, and students are no exception. This belief in the right of peaceful protest coexists with our fervent opposition to any calls for violence or genocide against any people; our community has experienced such horrors first hand, and to wish it upon any other is unconscionable.”

“We are particularly alarmed by the discrepancy between increased instances of police brutality (including the alleged forced removal of articles of faith, as well as many other examples) against protestors and apparent police inaction at the University of California Los Angeles when counterprotestors violently assaulted a student encampment Tuesday night. We have seen time and again that preferencing some political views for protection and others for criminalization is an untenable choice for a society founded on the freedoms of speech and assembly.”

“Finally, we strongly oppose any rhetoric that incites violence against student protestors, particularly on the basis of assumed or actual racial, ethnic, or religious identity. The Sikh community knows all too well the profound danger that comes with being described as “extremists” or “terrorists,” and  no one—least of all young people—should be put at such risk.”

For more than 20 years, the Sikh Coalition has defended Sikh civil rights in the community, courtrooms, classrooms, and halls of Congress. We are a national community-based organization with offices and staff in New York City, California (Bay Area and Los Angeles), Washington D.C., and Chicago working in concert with volunteer community advocates from coast to coast. For more information about the Sikh Coalition’s work, please email our media and communications team at media@sikhcoalition.org.