Thousands of college students at campuses across the country have protested the election of Donald Trump and his policies in recent days, and the number of walkouts and rallies is only growing.
Students at universities from coast to coast, including Stanford in California, Northwestern in Chicago and George Washington in D.C., joined more than 30 other colleges in a nationwide walkout movement Tuesday, organized through social media. Meanwhile, students at more than 100 colleges and universities plan to walk out of classes today in protest of Trump.
Student Action, the group that propelled the Stop Trump National Campus Walkout on Tuesday, describes itself as “a national network of student power organizations dedicated to fighting for racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice.” The group organized using hashtags #StudentAction, #StopTrump and #CantTrumpOurVision.
The national #OurCampus walkout, organized by #OurCampus in conjunction with Cosecha’s #SanctuaryCampus, is calling for students to protest at 3 p.m. today in their local time zones. Schools including UCLA, Syracuse University, Rutgers-Newark, Yale University, University of Michigan and Virginia Tech. Many other large and small schools have signed up to participate, according to the organization’s online “toolkit.”
The group says its message is that Trump was elected on a platform of hate, and the walkouts are necessary “to show our support for marginalized communities, to demand social, economic and climate justice, and to reject hate,” with the goal of stopping “the anti-climate, racist, sexist, and xenophobic policies Trump will propose.”
The protests are also part of a larger concern that students do not feel safe on their own campuses and have brought together an assortment of student groups to join the fight against hate.
At Stanford University, where more than 500 students, faculty and staff members walked out of their classrooms and offices on Tuesday, organizations including the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee, the Black Student Union, Stanford Students for Queer Liberation and other groups worked together to organize the demonstrations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“In a lot of ways, this is a response directly to the election, but it’s not necessarily rooted in reactionary work,” Stanford junior Lina Khoeur told the Chronicle. “A lot of the messages that were said today were around support and love and resilience and strength and continuing to move forward regardless of what happens.”
Students at the University of Michigan campus Tuesday night chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no racist, sexist U.S.A.,” as they marched through campus in what the university chapter of BAMN (the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary), which organized the event, described as stopping “Trump’s racist vision for America.”
While hundreds of students also demonstrated at larger schools such as the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University, equally large groups protested at small colleges such as Hamilton College, Colgate University and Utica College in Upstate New York.
In calling for Wednesday’s walkout, the #OurCampus toolkit instructs demonstrators to be peaceful and urges white students to help protect their non-white peers.
“We have organized this walkout as a peaceful and nonviolent action of civil disobedience,” according to the document. “In light of what occurred at the University of Missouri protests in 2015, students of color — despite our peace — might be the targets of white supremacist violence during this walkout. As such, we ask white students, who will be protected from this violence, to form a ‘circle of protection’ or ‘rows of protection’ on the borders of the march the entire time — this is to extend their safety to us.”
It is not clear whether the FBI is tracking the demonstrations. The agency has not released any official statements, nor posted messages on social media relating to the protests.