Students At UIC & UChicago To Stage Walkout Protest Against Trump
By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 14, 2016 8:31PM
Photo: Tyler LaRiviere
It’s been nearly a week since Donald Trump won the presidential election, but the huge subsequent wave of public collective opposition shows no sign of subsiding. Of course, massive protests have blanketed streets in cities nationwide, including here in Chicago, where two major demonstrations attracted thousands of participants. Now, campus walkouts, staged to protest Trump’s election and discuss solutions, are picking up steam.
National student network Student Action is encouraging a National Campus Walkout Day on Tuesday Nov. 15. Here in Chicago, students at University of Illinois at Chicago and UChicago are responding to the call, with hundreds of respondents showing interest.
Dominic Marlow, one of the co-organizers of the UIC action, said the walkout will culminate in "solidarity rallies," at which speakers will address concerns about bigotry and establishment politics.
"If the establishment wants our votes, from the largest demographic, they need to adopt an agenda that provides living-wage jobs, protects reproductive rights, the right to marry, diminishes the influence of money on elections and policy, and in general supports the power of working class," Marlow told Chicagoist.
"We’re not seeing the establishment work for the people," he added.
Marlow said that since the walkout was only organized a short time ago, he expects a relatively small initial turnout ("probably 50 - 100"), but that organizers are expecting a significantly larger turnout at UChicago.
"Judging from response, I think there will be a lot of folks in Chicago and a lot folks across the country," said Brianna Tong, a UChicago student and lead organizer for Chicago Student Action.
Tong echoed Marlow's desire to move beyond the "reactionary," and use actions to generate solutions. “We want to present a vision that's not just against Trump, but for a world where we’re attacking structural racism and providing long-term job opportunity," she said.
"We need a visionary radical alternative, and to use this moment to build up our movement—to not only fight what Trump's going to do, but build up a way forward," Tong added.
“So many of us are feeling scared and alone, and still don’t understand what Trump’s election means for both the future of our movement and our immediate economy and physical security,” wrote UChicago Student Action in a post. "The surge in hateful violence and racist abuse sparked by Trump’s victory is terrifying, and we need to oppose it firmly, right now.
But in this moment of crisis we also need to hold on to our radical vision of the world we want and need.”
Student in Los Angeles, Maryland, Nashville and other cities have staged large-scale walkouts in recent days. Some 400 students took part in such a demonstration on Friday; and hundreds more participated in Los Angeles on Monday.