Friday’s vigil and action at the Board of Regents’ meeting was a great success! The credit goes to an extraordinary University of Minnesota medical student, Eden Almasude, who planned and led the demonstration; her fellow medical students with Physicians for Human Rights; and the gutsy members of Students for a Democratic Society.
Here’s the way it played out. After a vigil outside the McNamara Alumni Center, a group of four students wearing white coats carried a black coffin to the door of the Board of Regents conference room, where they were confronted by security guards. Soon afterwards, several dozen demonstrators filed quietly to the front of the conference room, where each of us presented a single flower to Board of Regents Chairman Richard Beeson. Beeson responded by shouting into the microphone and threatening to have the room cleared. It was very satisfying.
Later in the public meeting, Leigh Turner, a professor in the Center for Bioethics, delivered a blistering speech to the Regents about their baffling refusal to address mounting evidence of research abuse and misconduct in the Department of Psychiatry. He was followed by two SDS members, Johnathon Walker and Chris Getowicz. All of them were shouted down by Chairman Beeson as their time at the podium expired.
You can see photos, video and speeches on the Facebook page for “Community Alliance for Ethics in Minnesota Psychiatry.”
For those of you who could not be there: our call-in campaign to the Regents and Governor Mark Dayton is still ongoing. Please voice your support for the cause by sending an email message to Brian Steeves, Executive Director of the Board of Regents, and cc-ing the email to Governor Mark Dayton. We have two questions:
1) How many research subjects have died or been seriously injured in psychiatric research studies at the university since the current Chair of Psychiatry, Dr. Charles Schulz, was appointed in 1999?
2) Why is President Eric Kaler refusing to investigate the suicide of Dan Markingson?
Send the email to:
Brian Steeves: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then go to this website and send it to Mark Dayton.
Thanks again for all of your support. We do appreciate it very much.