Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass students hold walkout against ‘right-wing terror’

The walkout was held only a day after the midterm elections

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(Alvin Buyinza/Daily Collegian)

(Alvin Buyinza/Daily Collegian)

(Alvin Buyinza/Daily Collegian)

By Alvin Buyinza, Assistant News and Photo Editor

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Students, faculty and local residents participated in a campus walkout outside the Student Union of the University of Massachusetts on Wednesday to speak out against the rise of white supremacy and “right-wing terror” around the country.

Hosted by the newly-formed UMass Students United Against Fascism along with several members of the International Socialist Organization, roughly 50 people participated in the walkout. Participants held signs reading “We are UMass,” “By reading this you agree to overthrow white supremacy” and “Which side are you on?”

“The importance of calling for this walkout and this rally today is to bring together the broad left on our campus, and to show solidarity for those students who’ve been targeted and for those workers who’ve been targeted because of their race, because of their religion, because they are from somewhere else,” said Stacey Sexton, a member of the ISO.

Participants of the walkout were also asked to speak on their opinions about the current political climate of the country, namely on steps needed to combat systemic oppression and bigotry during the Trump Administration.

“This is first and foremost for the Melville students,” said Sean-Tousey Pfarrer, member of UMass SUAF. “Targets of racist death threats in September and now a confederate flag painted in their dorm walls, this s— is not acceptable, and you know what we say? Black lives matter!”

Last week, a stairwell sign in Melville Hall was vandalized with an etching of a square with two Xs across it. Residents of the hall had reported the vandalization to UMPD on the basis that it resembled the confederate flag. However, UMPD had concluded it did not distinctly match the flag.

In addition to speaking about incidents on campus, Pfarrer, who uses ze/hir pronouns, also wanted to address acts of violence and racism across the nation, namely last week’s Pittsburgh shooting that left 11 dead.

“We also have to talk about all the other s— that’s going on. We’ve got mass murderers of Jews in synagogues, not any Jews, Jews working on helping refugees,” ze said. “This is an intersectional attack, and we need an intersectional response.”

Pfarrer also called for more support for immigrants and refugees in response to President Trump’s recent ‘Caravan’ ad, which has been criticized as being xenophobic and racist. Additionally, ze pursued support for the transgender community.

Brittyn Calyx, a resident of the Western Massachusetts area who uses xe, xem and xyr pronouns, spoke on the need for more support of the transgender community following the 2018 midterm election.

“We just had this election, and we are told we live election to election and that’s how we vote, and I want to say that we don’t have that as our only vote,” Calyx said. “There was a long route involved leading up to the last few weeks and also not everything went everybody’s way. We still have so much work to do.

“It is our job to hold people accountable to the people’s will, to our will to standing up against oppression, that is what is happening,” Calyx said.

Additionally, Calyx spoke on the importance of organizing, especially after xe witnessed immigrant families being detained and separated at the border.

One of the most highly-applauded speeches was from Britt Mardis, a sophomore psychology  major, who spoke on the inherent value people have across identities.

“When you are fighting a war, it makes it difficult to stay true to what makes us human, and the thing that connect everyone together, especially after the recent election, we f—— took the house!” Mardis said.

A small round of applause from the crowd grew after.

“Even though we may have not accomplished everything that we wanted to, it’s not over, not by a long shot and that everyone is of value,” she said. “I think that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by human beings loving each other and treating each other with respect and fighting for everyone’s dignity.”

 

Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abuyinza_news.

7 Comments

7 Responses to “UMass students hold walkout against ‘right-wing terror’”

  1. amy on November 8th, 2018 1:47 am

    Nobody takes this seriously. Just crazy liberals.

    Let’s just pretend that ‘white supremacy’ exists , it looks like minorities have done very well. Not only do asians make more than white people; Asians earn the highest per capita and median income in American than any country in the world, including the countries Asians emigrated from

    If anything Asians and other minorities have benefited from white people who founded the country, who run the country and who lead and control all or most of the institutions.

  2. NITZAKHON on November 8th, 2018 6:49 am

    As a Jew who values Western Civilization, not Islamofascism, I too oppose taking in refugees.

    What does it take? Amherst becoming the rape capital of Massachusetts, as Sweden has become the rape capital of Europe?

  3. SittingBull on November 8th, 2018 3:30 pm

    Let’s be honest…”minority” UMASS students have turned into an anti-white racist organization. The importance of these phony gatherings is to warn white people that they are not wanted at UMASS. And this is the utopia we are heading to when “minorities” are in control? Yikes.

  4. amy on November 8th, 2018 6:57 pm

    Minorities will never be in ‘control’ not at least the united states becomes a third world country, which it did to an extent under the previous president. Minorities left their home countries to come to the United States; because our country is better in every single aspect and it’s why they continue to flock here.

    If the united states was ran by minorities it would just reflect the countries that these people fled from. In that instance you would probably a ‘white fleet’ just like when black people rioted in the 1960s and took over the inner city; white made a more peaceful existence in the suburbs.

    If minorities are ever in ‘control’ you will probably see not only a descent of america into a third world country just like cities where minorities are in control now, south LA,, detriot, south chicago, newark, plagued by massive poverty, instability, crime, violence; you would also probably see a massive exodus to Europe or elsewhere to establish a new country. White people have high standards and will never accept third-world conditions.

    Many other minorities like me, realize this and this is why we support ‘white people’ and also because A. We are not racist and B. It is white people made this great country and allowed minorities to thrive far above and beyond their original home countries. Almost every minority except understandably black people as former slaves should be grateful for white people for this great country, for the great economy, for freedom, for equality, respect they give us, opportunities. Do you see minorities thrive in any other country in the world? No because the majority oppresses them but not in America.

    The sad thing is that white people are too nice and generous and they’ve let a small group of crazy, hateful and racist minorities try to take over the country.

  5. Truth hurts on November 9th, 2018 6:59 am

    Liberals ought to take a good look in the mirror. Then they’ll see the most hateful and decisive group in this country. These I’ll informed children at UMass are sadly just a symptom of successful brainwashing.

  6. Tokyo Gaijin on November 10th, 2018 9:22 am

    This is why I wouldn’t want my kids attending UMass. So many better schools to actually prepare students for the real world. Teachers should focus on teaching- not preaching. Is there really such a threat in Ivory Tower Amherst? Have they ever even seen a confederate flag? Of course— “White Power” is bad. But a threat?? Look at your heroin problem people!!

    Mass taxpayers. Really?? Pronoun movement? Talk about true hypocrites…What a shame- preparing these kids to face very ugly realities of the real world where nobody cares about pronouns. No wonder they end up on drugs. Teachers are supposed to shape young minds— not destroy them. Shame on UMass.

  7. amy on November 12th, 2018 1:28 pm

    “Teachers should focus on teaching- not preaching.” Great saying! This should be a motto.

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