UH students speak out for equality

by Amy Davis

Daily Cougar Staff

In response to many minority issues that have surfaced recently, some UH students have joined together to host a "unity rally" at noon today to voice their opinions and discuss equality for all.

The recent incident in which police were videotaped beating illegal immigrants after a high-speed car chase in Riverside, Calif., the lawsuit filed by students who were refused admission to the University of Texas' Law School because of what they called "reverse discrimination," and the recent flap over the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's citizenship requirement for scholarship eligibility are just a few of the events that are bothering the UH students who have decided it is time to take action.

"We aren't talking about immigration, we are talking about equality," said Laura Murillo, director of UH's Urban Experience program.

Murillo said the rally will give students a chance to "voice all the inequalities that they face as Hispanics, as blacks and as humans."

Although the rally is not sponsored by a single group or person, Murillo said a number of students approached her with the idea.

"As more students came to me, I thought, `What am I waiting on?' " she said.

Murillo said the point of the rally is to demonstrate that students are not ignorant to the issues.

"Regardless of your status in this country, all people should be treated humanely," she said of the taped beatings. "For us as a community to ignore it, makes us just as guilty.

"This isn't just happening in California, it's happening everywhere."

She said the rally will take its own form depending on who shows up and what is discussed.

"For us," said Murillo, "it's enough just for a dialogue to get started, even if it's just amongst a few."

Notices were sent to all organizations to invite everyone to participate. According to Murillo, local politicians will attend the rally to speak about affirmative action in an open forum discussion. She also said the rally will feature student speeches and folklore songs about history and people.

The rally will take place from noon until 1 p.m. today at the Satellite.

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