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‘United We Stand Festival’ cancelled, scheduled to relocate

By Kristen Taketa

May 8, 2014 1:22 a.m.

UCLA cancelled a political education festival that would have occurred at Pauley Pavilion this Saturday because it said the event’s organizers failed to pay on time for use of the facility.

Free and Equal Elections Foundation, an organization that aims to “bring political power back to the people through education,” organized a United We Stand Festival to take place Saturday night. The event is scheduled to have dozens of speakers, including radio host Larry King, the founders of Ben & Jerry’s, founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan and other politicians and prominent figures.

As of press time, there was no venue set for the event, but UCLA said it is working with Free and Equal to find another venue on campus for the United We Stand Festival. Christina Tobin, founder and chair of Free and Equal, said the organization has other venues in the Los Angeles area where it could hold the event.

About 2,000 people had bought tickets for the event and were refunded after Free and Equal was notified of the venue cancellation, Tobin said. They will be invited to repurchase their tickets once a new venue is set, she added.

In a statement, UCLA said it cancelled the United We Stand Festival because Free and Equal was required to submit payment for the use of Pauley Pavilion by this Monday for the event to proceed. According to the statement, the organization said May 5 it would wire the funds to campus by noon on Tuesday.

When campus officials did not receive the funds by noon, they cancelled the event.

Shortly afterward, officials moved an event for admitted transfer students to Pauley Pavilion from the John Wooden Center.

UCLA said Free and Equal’s payment was eventually received, however, but did not give an indication in its statement that it would return part of the payment to Free and Equal.

Free and Equal had wired about $90,500 to UCLA for use of Pauley Pavilion, Tobin said.

“We don’t have the intention of leaving this campus,” Tobin said. “Students deserve to see these people. UCLA is historically about dialogue, the truth, and this is kind of the counter to that.”

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Kristen Taketa
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