Defend Palestinian Students Free Speech at SFSU

General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) www.sfgups.org 415-338-1908
San Francisco State University

Palestinian Mural in Jeopardy!

In April 2005, the General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State University proposed something revolutionary, to begin a process of implementing a mural paying tribute to Edward Said and Palestinian culture on the University campus. This is the first mural of its kind at a university in the United States. After over a year of painstaking efforts by the mural committee to follow the established process, the President of San Francisco State University, Robert A. Corrigan, prematurely denied the mural just before the final stage. It is 2007 and the mural is in jeopardy and needs your immediate help.

The SF State president, Robert Corrigan claims the mural represents a “culture of violence” and “hatred toward Jews.” He is saying that the Palestinian house key and Handala are offensive but he does not explain why or what to support his claim. He allowed other murals up on the Cesar Chavez Student Center, such as the Malcolm X mural, the Cesar Chavez mural, the Filipino Mural, the Pan Asian and Pacific Islander Mural that have representation of refugees and resistance to colonial occupation. However the administration has been trying to stop our mural since day one before they knew anything about it.

Take action now by signing the latest online petition, writing a letter to President Corrigan from you or your organization, or financially support the legal process. President Corrigan has to understand that our mural is not just a couple of students in the back of a classroom that he can just shut up, but that the whole community supports the mural and all its elements including the Palestinian house key and Handala!


[Handala is “an iconic symbol of Palestinian identify” and resistance to Israeli occupation. See the Wikipedia article]


[The Handala image drawn by the students shows him holding a Palestinian house key in one hand, and a fountain pen in the other. In a previous version he had a pen in the shape of a sword, to invoke the saying and the spirit of Edward Siad “the pen is mightier than the sword.” The latest version removes any ambiguity by showing him holding a fountain pen.]

The final version of the mural may be seen at:
http://www.sfgups.org/

To read more about the situation, see these articles from the campus newspaper:
http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/news/006524.html
(This article shows a previous version of the mural.)
http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/news/007117.html

What You Can Do

1. Sign the New Online Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/mural/

2. Write a Letter or email SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan: (corrigan@sfsu.edu, gups@sfsu.edu, cortez@sfsu.edu)

President Robert Corrigan
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
(email: corrigan@sfsu.edu)

PLEASE CC:

General Union of Palestine Students
1650 Holloway Ave
Business Office, M100B
San Francisco, CA 94132
(email: gups@sfsu.edu)

and CC:

Maria Liliana Cortez
1650 Holloway Ave
Business Office, C-134
San Francisco, CA 94132
(email: cortez@sfsu.edu)