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Four Decatur residents arrested during protest at Georgia Board of Regents meeting

Crime and public safety Decatur Metro ATL

Four Decatur residents arrested during protest at Georgia Board of Regents meeting

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Four Decatur residents were among nine people arrested for disrupting a Georgia Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 12.

The protesters were supporting undocumented students banned from Georgia colleges and universities. Freedom University, an advocacy group and “freedom school” for undocumented students, coordinated the protest.

“At approximately 10:15 am on Tuesday, February 12, nine community leaders – including four clergy members – disrupted a Georgia Board of Regents’ public meeting in support of undocumented students banned from public universities in Georgia,” the group said in a press release. “Following the opening invocation at the Board of Regents meeting, nine individuals stood up to continue the prayer in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience.”

The Capitol Police made the arrests.

A police spokesperson said, “A University System of Georgia Board of Regents meeting was taking place when nine individuals started chanting, disrupting the meeting. The group was asked to disperse. They then locked arms and refused to leave. The nine individuals were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. They were taken to the Fulton County Jail.”

The people arrested during the protest are:

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– Gregory Ames, 70, of Marietta, GA

– Charmaine Minniefield, 46, of Decatur, GA

– Cindy Lutenbacher, 65, of Decatur, GA

– Laura Soltis, 34, of Fairburn, GA

– David Dunn, 57, of Roswell, GA

– Matthew Laney, 48, of Decatur, GA

– Jonathan Rogers, 33, of Decatur, GA

– Adrian Apecena, 34, of Durham, NC

– Jordan Klepper, 39, of New York, NY

According to Freedom University, “Georgia is widely recognized for having the most punitive and discriminatory laws toward undocumented students in the country. In 2010, the Georgia Board of Regents passed Policy 4.1.6 and Policy 4.3.4, which ban undocumented students from admission to the state’s top five public universities and prohibit them from qualifying for in-state tuition. While 23 states grant undocumented students equal access to public universities with in-state tuition rates, Georgia is one of only three states in the country – including Alabama and South Carolina – to institute an admissions ban against undocumented students in public higher education. Georgia is the only state in the country to uphold restrictive admissions policies against students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal program that grants legal presence, protection from deportation, work permits, and driver’s licenses to certain undocumented youth.”

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