Oxnard: Student Journalists Face Threats of Repression for Campus Distribution

By Serran Soledad

Only one week after the release of Revolutionary Student News’s (RSN) first anti-imperialist newsletter, students were interrogated, then escorted off the Oxnard High School campus by Assistant Principal Lauren Rodriguez, for attempting to distribute copies of the paper to their peers.

Oxnard High Assistant Principal Lauren Rodriguez

Accompanied by a campus security guard, Rodriguez told RSN supporters that the Oxnard Police Department had been called and that an investigation into those involved in distribution was underway.

While being escorted off campus, one RSN supporter filmed and agitated against the repression.

“Why are we being reported to the Oxnard Police Department? You want to criminalize us? How dare you!” she says, “They want to criminalize us students, high school students, for raising class consciousness.”

Footage of the incident was circulated on social media, drawing public support for RSN, and exposing Rodriguez for the reactionary that she is.

The following day, administration attempted to contact both the students and their guardians to set up in-person meetings—primarily to gather more intel on student involvement with the RSN project to further repress the organized youth.

In an effort to do damage control, likely due to RSN’s effective documentation of the incident, the school apologized for reporting the distributors and kicking them off campus.

The school has since changed its strategy in an attempt to influence the content of the newsletter. The administration offered a compromise to student supporters of RSN: continue distribution of the paper with the condition that the editors remove “bad” language.

Included in their offer was the chance to have “dialogue” with the Chief of Police, which even the youngest of revolutionaries know is a con-trick.

Revolutionary Student News First Issue

“I think them strategically playing this nice card is really dangerous and a way for them to try and liquidate this movement.” said an RSN supporter, “They’re just trying to control us and we are not going to fall for it. Why would we sit down with killers?”

In a time of economic crisis and lockdown due to Covid-19, public schools fail to meet the needs of working class students more than ever.

Ironically, when students like those of RSN organize themselves to produce literature that educates their peers and questions the institutions that work against their class interests, the negligent administration like all ruling class apparatuses, seeks to repress such young and rebellious voices that clamor for revolution.

Tribune stands in solidarity with these young revolutionary journalists, and provides their newsletter available below for download. We encourage our readers to share it widely in defiance of those trying to shackle the youth to the backwards old society.

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