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Youth group demands removal of Gandhi bust at Fresno State University

New York, July 7 (IANS)  Riding on the coat-tails of the anti-racism protests sweeping the country, a petition backed by the Sikh youth organization, Jakara Movement, with 5,000 signatures demanded the removal of Gandhi’s statue in the Peace Garden at the Fresno State University in California, according to the Fresno Bee newspaper.

But the university’s president Joseph Castro rejected the demand in a statement on the university’s web site.

A section of Sikhs and others, including African Americans, have had held a demonstration near the vandalized statue of Gandhi in Davies asking for it to be removed, according to the Davis Vanguard.

Dillan Horton, an African American running for City Council, was quoted by the publication as calling Gandhi “an anti-black segregationist.”

The Indian Association of Sacramento has, meanwhile, launched a petition on asking Davis to retain the statue and also protect it from vandals.

The petition signed by 3,428 people as of Monday night pointed out that Martin Luther King, the African American icon of the US civil rights movement had said that the Gandhian philosophy was “the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom” and South Africa’s anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela had acknowledged being inspired by his non-violent method to fight his country’s racist regime.

The anti-racism movement behind the campaign against some memorials came out of the protests against the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man by police in Minneapolis.


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International students in the US are panicking and universities are scrambling to make sense of a new policy announcement by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that says foreign students in the US will be forced to leave the country or transfer to another college if their universities offer only online classes this Fall. “Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States”, the first line of the July 6 statement says. Officials in the International Students Office at the University of Southern California told IANS they are still “analysing the new information” and swamped by a flood of enquiries from worried students. According to immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta, the latest one pager policy announcement means three things: Students enrolled in US universities that are moving to an online-only education model will be barred from getting F-1 visas, they will be stopped from entering the US on F-1 visas and not allowed to maintain F-1 status in the Fall semester. ICE is now turning the screws on universities to re-open despite the coronavirus roaring back across 40 of 50 states. “So Trump is forcing foreign students to study in unsafe conditions during Covid-19”, Mehta tweeted. Fall 2020 semester begins early September in the US, immediately after Labor Day weekend. By that time, America’s death toll is projected to have crossed the grim milestone of 170,000, according to at least a couple of predictive models. The new policy incentivises in-person classes during the ongoing pandemic which has already killed 130,000 Americans. The ICE announcement comes amidst heated debate across the country on what the coming Fall school session is going to look like. Full report on our website. Link in bio. . #foreignstudents #f1visa #ice #fallsemester #onlineclasses #usuniversities

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