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Georgetown Silences Workers’ Voices:
Campus Police Impede Workers and Students from Entering Committee Meeting
Feb 1, 2006 - posted by Ashwini Jaisingh, aj94(at)

Today, GSC members and workers planned to interrupt the Advisory Committee on Business Practices (ACBP) meeting to voice their dissatisfaction with the committee’s inaction, present their demands: the right to organize a union and a living wage. The janitors are asking Georgetown to stop blocking their attempt to organize by a majority sign-up (or "card check"), the most democratic process for winning union representation, and to finally pay them the $13/hour compensation promised them in the "Just Employment Policy" last March. Workers and students gave Georgetown administrators a deadline of March 14, 2006 to implement the demands (read the demands). A crowd of the janitors who clean Georgetown’s buildings attempted to enter the ACBP meeting, as the committee makes decisions that directly affect the janitors’ lives, and currently they have no representation on the committee. But as they attempted to attend the meeting, the Department of Public Safety (DOPS) was ordered to provide strong resistance to the workers; about 30 DOPS officers blocked the entrance to New South, the site of the meeting.

Student members of GSC tried to make way for the workers. GSC member Josh Pecket attempted to get past DOPS into the building, but a DOPS officer forcefully prevented him from entering. Geof fervently struggled with the DOPS officers until three officers finally restrained him to the ground. The glass door of New South broke from the struggle and stands taped up now. Zack Pesavento and Sarah Heydemann struggled to get in and were also restrained by DOPS. Both Geof and Sarah were bleeding afterwards.

Meanwhile, other GSCers held signs and chanted loudly in solidarity across the street in front of Leo’s. (The megaphone got its first use in a while…it’s just getting warmed up!) Inside the ACBP meeting, Professor Robert Cumby got up and left, which some members took as his resignation. Meanwhile, Jean Lord came out from the meeting and had brought Katy (GSC member on the ACBP) along to “control the crowd”. Katy told everyone that the committee intended not to allow other students or workers to come in because of the policies established by the ACBP. The student members of the ACBP represented the student body and were our way to express our concerns to the committee and it was best if we dispersed. GSC members lingered around the site to talk to press and answer questions and ended the day with a debriefing. Although slightly disappointed that workers did not get into the meeting to voice their demands, GSCers emerged optimistic about the new start to the campaign.

More Photos from today

Workers' and Students' Demands | Full Press Release (written 1/31/06)

Related articles:

Feb 3, 2006 - Wage Protest Meets DPS Resistance - The Hoya

Feb 2, 2006 - Campaign for living wage rages - Georgetown Voice


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