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Friday, October 06, 2006

Gallaudet Blockage 

*edit below*

Uh, hell no!

This morning, I drove KT to Gallaudet to drop him off to work at MSSD. After dropping him off, I planned to drop off the car at a shop, near home, to get some things fixed and then Metro to work. However, when I got to the front entrance on 8th and Florida, it was blocked. So, I went over to the one on 6th Street, it was blocked as well. Then, I drove up to the MSSD entrance, it was blocked as well.

Oh, no no no!

So, I drove back to the front entrance, where there were other cars and service vehichles, such as Odwalla, waiting to get out. No one was moving. So, I put the car in Park, got out and walked to the DPS security.

I explained to her that I just entered campus to drop off my partner and that I needed to leave campus to go to work. "Sorry. No one is allowed to leave or enter," she said. "Why?," I inquired. "Sorry but I'm not allowed to tell you why," she replied.

No ma'am. No one is ever allowed to prevent anyone from leaving a place. No one is allowed to prevent someone from leaving a church, a hospital, a home, a mall, a theatre and most certainly a university campus.

So, I drove my big fat flat ass over to DPS. If they were gonna remain adamant, I was gonna have them call the DC Police. So, I got to the DPS front desk (by the way, it's been renovated) and explain that I dropped off my partner and that I needed to leave to get to work.

The lady, at the front desk, left to talk to someone. On my right, there was a huddle of DPS officers, talking (not signing).

A Deaf teacher from Kendall came in to ask when will the teachers, parents and students be allowed to come in on campus. Even the DPS officers weren't quite sure. One replied, "maybe 30 or 45 minutes but not sure."

The lady at the front desk came back to make sure she understood me right. Apparently, they were surprised that I made it in on campus in the first place. Dammit, I need to get off campus to get to work! The lady left again to speak with her supervisor. She came back quickly and said I could leave.

Thank you!

So, I drove back to the front and I still see 2 other cars waiting to get out. So, I got out again to speak to the same officer. You could tell she was overwhelmed. Students and staff were upset that they were not allowed to come in. Everyone was congregated at the front in the rain.

I was watching one student explaining to the officer that he lives in the dorms. The officer kept repeating "please cooperate with me. no one is allowed to come in." She was saying that to everyone. Only the DC Police were allowed to drive in.

I went up to her and explained that I went to DPS, who told me that I was allowed to leave. She warned that if I left, I would not be allowed back in. I was like "that's fine. I just need to leave for work." I got back in the car and waited at the stop light before I could leave.

A Deaf guy warned me about leaving campus and not coming back in. I assured him that I knew that and that I needed to go to work.

I saw several students and staff commenting how the blockage had to be related to prevent students from interrupting the BOT meetings.

The light turned green. I took off knowing that it was gonna be a long and interesting day at Gallaudet.


It turned out that the one of the reasons (the other reason that I've heard was that a bomb threat was called in) for the blockage was that there was an episode earlier that morning involving the DPS and the students at HMB.

Elisa has provided consistent coverages on this morning's events, including a video clip, recorded by BisonTv, on a DPS security clashing with students. (QuickTime is needed to view.) The Administration proclaimed that no one was hurt. Allegedly, the video clip has been released to the media.