In response to the latest nationwide string of instances of police brutality, a group of over 40 black Washington University students occupied and effectively shut down Bear’s Den Friday evening. Protestors organized in an effort to vocalize concerns with the University’s lack of response to such instances—as well as feelings of invisibility in the Washington University community.
Washington University’s early history with racial integration was a rocky one. In the late 1800s, with the onset of Jim Crow segregation throughout the nation, institutions like Wash. U. that had previously accepted black students, however infrequently, completely barred their doors to them.
Students in this day and age are taking the credo of John Lewis—“Get in the way”—to heart and it’s working. But what is it working towards?
With chants of “Pay our teachers” and “We support adjuncts,” protesters organized by the Student-Worker Alliance (SWA) demonstrated outside the Danforth University Center on Friday, calling for improved wages and working conditions for adjunct faculty at Washington University.
Two Israeli soldiers spoke in Seigle Hall on Sunday about their lives as Israelis and the Arab-Israeli conflicts as a part of the StandWithUs tour, hosted by Washington University’s Students for Israel.
This afternoon on April 12, I and five others (all people of color) gathered outside of Seigle Hall to peacefully protest the exclusion and erasure of Palestinian voices at an event run by Wash U Students for Israel. Although we were entirely respectful and peaceful, we were immediately harassed and threatened by the event’s organizers and attendees.
Instead of the intended panel discussion on Thursday, planners organized a rally outside the museum. Under the #SelectiveHistory banner, which protesters of the museum’s decision used on social media last week, a wide variety of around 75 attendees showed up to the changed event, which still included speakers from the four groups.
Around 75 protesters from around the St. Louis community congregated outside the Missouri History Museum on Thursday night to protest the museum’s cancellation of an event that planned to discuss the similarities between recent events in Ferguson, Ayotzinapa and Palestine.
How cruelly ironic that a museum of history would deny a voice to those who have been continuously expunged from the historical record.
In the two weeks following the grand jury announcement, Student Life arranged one-on-one interviews with more than a dozen students involved in the ensuing protests. These students relayed their experiences at various protests throughout St. Louis, shared their reasons for protesting and voiced their hopes for how the protests will evolve within the University community.