BAMN

BAMN pledges to continue fight to overturn Prop 209 in the courts and in the streets

Defend Affirmative ActionBAMN PRESS RELEASE 4/2/2012:

BAMN will appeal decision on Proposition 209 to full Ninth Circuit
BAMN vows to continue the fight against the New Jim Crow in the courts and in the streets

The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and the black and Latina/o student plaintiffs will continue the fight against California’s Proposition 209 and restore affirmative action. They will demonstrate at UC-Berkeley Friday, April 6 to immediately double underrepresented minority student enrollment, and enter an appeal of today’s decision dismissing their challenge to Proposition 209 to the full Ninth Circuit and, if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Ninth Circuit panel opinion upheld Proposition 209 only because it said it was required to do so by another panel’s decision from 1997.

“If the Ninth Circuit will not open up the universities, the students will open them up by their own actions,” said Matt Williams, BAMN organizer and Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP) candidate for ASUC president. “BAMN will continue the fight to ensure that Latina/o and black students have access to the University of California in the courts and in the streets.”

Shanta Driver, the National Chair of BAMN and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said, “The failure of the full Ninth Circuit to review the 1997 decision has resulted in tens of thousands of highly-qualified Latino/a and black students being excluded from the University of California. The full Ninth Circuit should not again fail the students and people of California.”

George Washington, one of BAMN’s attorneys, said, “When a panel of the Sixth Circuit struck down Michigan’s version of Proposition 209, the full Sixth Circuit granted en banc review because the issue was so important. The full Ninth Circuit should grant review because the issue is at least as important in California as it is in Michigan.”

Half of the graduates of California’s public high schools are Latina/o, black or Native American. But in fall 2011, black students are only 3.7 percent of those admitted to UC Berkeley, and Latina/o students are only 14.8 percent of those admitted. The corresponding figures at UCLA are 3.8 percent and 16.1 percent. Combined, Latina/o, black and Native American students comprise about one-half of California’s high school graduates.

A Sixth Circuit panel overturned an identical initiative in Michigan on July 1, 2011. The appeal before the full Sixth Circuit was argued on March 7, 2012. The appeal to the full Ninth Circuit will be filed by April 16, 2012.

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