Over 1000 students staged a walkout at Brown University yesterday, in reaction to last Tuesday’s presidential election results, to call attention to the safety of its students of color and marginalized students. Students were encouraged to wear black and carry signs. Students were encouraged to go to class, make a statement and encourage others to walkout as well. The statement students were asked to read was,
“I am walking out to call Brown University to protect its students, particularly Black, Native & Indigenous, Asian, undocumented, Muslim, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ students. Please join me if you would like to do the same.”
The walkout was called as a part of the national #OurCampus movement, which seeks to make college and university campuses sanctuaries and commit to putting bodies between Trump and undocumented students.
Students gathered on the Wristin Quad before marching to the offices of Brown University President Christina Paxson, with a list of demands. Paxson, in response to earlier calls to establish Brown University as a Sanctuary Campus, wrote, “Based on consultation with legal counsel, we understand that private universities and colleges do not have legal protection from entry by members of law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
That did not stop the 1000+ students from peacefully and loudly walking out and making their demand in concert with 80 other institutions of higher learning across the country.
The walkout included a call to uplift Standing Rock’s #NoDAPL resistance movement and Movimiento Cosecha‘s #SanctuaryCampus walkout.
Movimiento Cosecha, a “movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity and respect for the immigrant community” wrote in their press release that, “In the 1980s, congregations, universities, and other institutions provided immigrants sanctuary as part of the Sanctuary Movement. Since then, sanctuary spaces have been essential to providing immigrants protection against deportation raids…
“Donald Trump has promised to deport 2-3 million immigrants in his first 100 days in office and will have the executive power as President to do so. He will also have the power to revoke Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy won by the Dreamer movement in 2012 that provides close to 800,000 young people without temporary protection from deportation and work permits. Trump’s short list for head of the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency with near total discretion on immigration enforcement, include the notoriously anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Kris Kobach, the author of SB1070.
“During the presidential election, Movimiento Cosecha staged #BuiltbyUs actions that called out the hypocrisy of Trump’s stance on immigration given his businesses’ reliance on undocumented immigrant labor. A recent report found that mass deportation as originally proposed by Donald Trump would cost the U.S. $4.7 trillion in GDP.”
Check out the videos and photos from the event below.