Category Archives: Activist Times

Unofficial Orientation 2018: Rage Update

Wes is known for its history of activism. Rage update outlines all public activism that occurred on campus in the past academic year. It seems to have become an every other year sort of thing for us with our first article in 2014, our second in 2016, and now our third in 2018.  All articles are definitely worth a read and although 2017 didn’t get an article, it was certainly a year worth remembering so I’ll leave some links to further reading in the end.

Rage update wouldn’t be complete without the words of alt, the author of our first rage update:

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

All Campus Email: Daniel Handler Withdraws as Commencement Speaker, Anita Hill to Speak

Around 4 PM today, President Roth sent out an email update notifying campus that Daniel Handler ’92 has stepped down from delivering the Commencement Speech for the Class of 2018. Dr. Anita Hill will instead be delivering the address at the event.

This decision follows Sarah Chen Small ’18‘s write-in as well as the her leading a student response which involved #CancelHandler posters put around campus earlier this week. This is a great example of how student activism can pressure the administration to check their actions. Honestly, this is amazing.

Read past the jump for the full text of the email:

#CancelHandler18 Posters Appear All Over Campus

On Monday, posters like the one above were put up all over campus, including on most (if not all) senior house doors. The posters call for the removal of Daniel Handler ’92 as Commencement Speaker after repeated instances of racism and sexual harassment. They also call attention to the fact that Dr. Anita Hill, who is known for speaking out against workplace harassment, will receive an honorary degree (a lesser honor and a shorter speech) at the same event.

The poster also links to Wesleying’s Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo” and a recent article in Pacific Standard by David M. Perry ’95 detailing Handler’s history of sexual harassment.

Film Series Special Screening: Get Out

2017. USA. Dir: Jordan Peele. With Daniel
Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford.


We’re delighted to present a free preview screening of this socially conscious horror flick. A young black man heads upstate to meet his white girlfriend’s parents, where he makes a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries.

Tonight / 8 p.m. / Goldsmith Family Cinema / Free

Students, Alumni React to Trump’s Muslim Ban

jfk-airport-new-york

Earlier today, thousands gathered at JFK International Airport to protest the detaining of 12 people from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries covered in Trump’s executive order from yesterday. This order has suspended all immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia for the next 90 days, regardless of visa and permanent resident status. The order also bans entry of all refugees for the next 120 days and the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Among those at JFK earlier today was Casey Smith ’17, who gives more information about what’s going on there:

At least a dozen refugees and immigrants from the now-banned Muslim-majority countries were detained by Customs and Border Patrol inside JFK and more–unclear how many–were detained at airports around the country. The protests were posted on Facebook by immigrants’ rights and human rights activists, including Linda Sarsour. Lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project and the ACLU were inside the airport, by the arrivals gate, working to get in touch with the detained refugees. At the time of writing one Iraqi refugee had been released but the others were still detained. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) was inside the airport and at the protests all day to advocate for CBP to release the refugees. Protestors shouted “no ban, no wall” and that immigrants/refugees/Muslims are welcome here.

Smith also said that it is important that those who are directly affected by the ban be centered in conversations about the policy. Read past the jump for reactions to the news:

Wesleyan Students Protest Dakota Access Pipeline in New Haven

Photo Credit: Liberation News

Photo Credit: Kirill Lebedev for Liberation News

On Friday afternoon, a cohort of Wesleyan activists drove down to New Haven’s financial district to protest three major banks’ investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Students from Wesleyan Democratic Socialists and Fossil Fuel Divest joined other protestors on the march, which began at Wells Fargo, moved to Bank of America and the Federal Courthouse, and ended at TD Bank. At each stop, organizers and indigenous activists made speeches and led chants demanding a halt to pipeline construction and that the banks divest from the project. Read past the jump for more information about the march and specific calls to action from the protest’s organizers.

Write-In: This Semester, How Do You Plan To Resist?

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The world is a scary place right now, but one thing is for certain: we’re going to need a lot of organizing these next four years, and especially these next few months, while there’s still so much momentum for grassroots movements. National groups such as Planned Parenthood and Democratic Socialists of America have already made their intentions to resist against Trump’s proposed policies clear. And however you may feel towards the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches, they did encourage millions to take the first step in any sort of activism: showing up.

Here at Wesleying, we’d like to ask: how do you plan to resist, get involved, protest, sit-in, or show up this semester? Your plans can be as menial as making a few calls to representatives, or as grandiose as organizing a large-scale rally. They can be a cohesive schedule or just a rambling brainstorm of causes you’d like to get involved with. We’re especially looking for ways to help right here in Middletown with local groups, but whatever your cause may be, we want to hear from you!

Share your ideas here, or below. Responses may be recorded anonymously, if you so choose, and there’s also a box to check if you’re okay with your responses being published on Wesleying. Depending on how many responses we get, we’re hoping to post a bunch of them throughout the semester, in the hopes of generating discussion of how others can get involved.

Wes Students Join Area Residents in Action Against Dakota Access Pipeline

“Our politicians are turning a blind eye to the protesters and to the native peoples as a new tyranny of oil is taking over our government” – Josh Nodiff ’19

dapl24

On Friday, September 9, Dragonfly Climate Collective, a local anti-capitalist environmental justice group, organized an action outside of TD Bank on Washington Street to protest the bank’s investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Over 125 people from Wesleyan, Middletown, and greater Connecticut area turned out in response to a call for solidarity actions from the Camp of the Sacred Stones and the Red Warrior Camp, the two camps that have been leading the resistance against the DAPL. The Dragonfly Climate Collective report on the action can be found here.

Radical Inhabitation

radicalKate Gilbert ’18 writes in:

In order to raise awareness about environmental issues on Wesleyan’s campus, and to make environmentalism more of a priority of the student body, Matilda Ostow, Lizzy Elliott and I have planned Radical Inhabitation. This action, which consists of a workshop and sleep-out, and culminates in a human banner, strives to connect environmental groups on campus and to expand dialogue about environmental issues. We invite anyone and everyone to participate in this event – join us on Foss on Wednesday April 27th at 7pm.

_____

Re-envision our relationship to green spaces on campus. Climate change is disrupting our world, DISRUPT one night of your life by participating in:

*Workshop* – An evening of environmental exchange and collaboration
*Sleep Out* – Occupying Foss to radicalize the way we inhabit our campus
*Human Banner* – Use our bodies to send a message to the student body

Info:
– Come fed
– Bring sleeping bag/pad (or borrow a friend’s)
– Only experience necessary: being a human on planet earth.

Let’s create a collective attitude of environmental awareness and action!

Date: Wednesday, April 27 – Thursday, April 28
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 AM
Place: Foss Hill