6/13 Protest War Criminal, Robert Gates at UW Commencement

Saturday, June 13th, 11:30am, at the UW Commencement Ceremony
Protest War Criminal, Robert Gates!
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009
Time: 11:30am
Location: Meet-up at the IMA Gym
Street: 25th Ave., just north of Husky Stadium and Bank of America Arena

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and other concerned members of the University of Washington and Seattle communities strongly object to the decision to have Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaker at the June 13th UW commencement. Robert Gates should be held accountable for and prosecuted by appropriate legal authorities for the following crimes:

* Prosecuting illegitimate pre-emptive wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan

*Bombing civilian populations in Iraq and Afghanistan

*Failure to prosecute officials that carried out the crimes of torture in both Guantanamo and secret C.I.A. rendition sites.

These crimes are fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, and violation of Geneva Convention and the U.N. charter.

War criminals should not be allowed to speak at commencement ceremonies. The University of Washington should take back its invitation immediately.

EVERYONE: Join us for a protest rally beginning at 11:30 AM at the IMA Gym and proceeding to the area in front of the main entrance to Husky Stadium at 11:45.

GRADUATES and GUESTS who will be inside Husky Stadium: When Gates gets up to speak AND when he gets his honorary degree, let's turn our backs on him and show he's not welcome here.

Over the past few quarters students, faculty, and community members have been mobilizing to end the CIA-related INSER program on campus and to fire CIA agent Tim Thomas who is currently a visiting professor.

While our tuition has been hiked and our academic programs cut, our campus is being used as research and recruiting station to support racist and undemocratic attacks on people of color and poor folks around the world. Gates is a former CIA director, and when the UW administration invited him to speak, they continued this trend of militarizing UW.

But it seems they've underestimated the UW community's commitment to democracy. Students and faculty have already helped shut down a CIA recruiting session by threatening to picket. Now many people are mobilizing to protest Gates. The days when folks would passively accept the inevitability of the "War on Terror" are over.

So let's invite all of our friends and family to have the kind of commencement WE want to have!

Let's reverse the militarization of the UW campus and show them
UW is for education, not for war and occupation!