At 3 PM, a huge number of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and Middletown community members (estimates range from a few to several hundred) gathered in the Exley Lobby ready to march in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Although most folks dissipated at about 4 PM after the stream of protestors made it’s way back to main campus, as of 4:45 PM there are still students marching on the North End of Main Street and police are present. Prior to the march, protestors were reminded that a Black life is taken every 28 hours by law enforcement or state-backed vigilantes; this march was an attempt to disrupt the Middletown economy in analogous fashion to the constant disruption of Black lives. In addition, it was emphasized that this was a peaceful protest.
So maybe you’re a freshman, nervous and overwhelmed by all the information coming at you about classes, housing, what to bring from home – and are feeling like you can’t even begin to think about bigger issues on campus. Or maybe you’re a senior and feel like you’ve gotten this far and never really involved yourself in any social/political engagement on campus, so now it’s way too late and where would you even begin if you wanted to. Wherever you might stand, activism at Wes can seem like a huge, widespread and unnavigable thing.
Thankfully, some very committed students are trying to change that sentiment and make activism within the Wesleyan world an approachable and cohesive community. This past week, the Disorientation Guide was released through the University Organizing Center site to bring together the wide-ranging issues affecting us into one document. The entire Disorientation zine can be downloaded here, and I strongly recommend that everyone take a look at it.
Beginning at noon today from the Science Library, students have been marching across campus in protest of the administration’s lack of support for African American Studies. This comes at the heels of a massive petition campaign, where other members of the Wesleyan community were encouraged to add their names to a resolution calling for the Provost to prioritize faculty hires in AFAM, to fill the empty lines that are in AFAM currently, as well as demanding a response from President Roth or Provost Ruth Striegel Weissman.
This resolution previously passed the Wesleyan Student Assembly on May 4th, when the WSA decided to suspend their bylaws (in which they are not allowed to vote on a resolution introduced that same day) to vote on the resolution the day of. The resolution passed unanimously and within a week’s time, has garnered over 850 additional signatures from the community.
The March today, entitled “March on Wesleyan,” moved from SciLi into Olin, then across Foss, through Admissions and Usdan, then through North College and ending at South College. Along the way, everyone chanted various phrases, as well as singing the following version of the fight song:
Maya McDonnell ’16 invites you to a film screening:
The world faces accelerated climate catastrophe. If the fossil fuel industry has the most to gain – the youth have the most to lose.
But as the fossil fuel industry profits, students nationwide are taking on the fossil fuel industry head on. Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Students & Goliath follows the divestment campaigns of five schools: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. Eight students lockdown and are arrested inside an energy company’s office to protest a devastating pipeline proposal. 40,000 gather in Washington, DC to demand action. Students & Goliath is the story of a generation waking up, becoming empowered, and taking the climate crisis into their own hands.
Come watch the film, meet the director Alex Leff, and join Wes, Divest for a discussion about the fossil fuel divestment movement!
Date: Saturday, November 9
Time: 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Place: PAC 002
This Friday in Hartford, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, there will be an anti-war protest held to urge our local representatives not to support an attack on Syria. If you want to join us in Hartford for this critical mass gathering, or just want to start talking about everything that’s going on, join us as we gather TONIGHT Thursday at 7:00 PM at the U.O.C. (University Organizing Center at 190 High Street). You don’t have to stay long, but if you want to join us on Friday we need a head count! As many cars as possible will be driving up.
There will also be a demonstration this Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1:00 PM, at the corner of Main and Washington streets in Middletown. If you feel a need to voice your opinion on this critical issue, but can’t make it on Friday, that’s your chance to join people from the area for an anti-war rally.
Meeting in the UoC:
Date: Thursday, September 5
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: University Organizing Center (190 High Street)
Protest in Hartford:
Date: Friday, September 6
Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Hartford, CT – Back of the Old State House (facing the highway – 90 State House Sq.)
Demonstration in Middletown:
Date: Saturday, September 7
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: Corner of Main Street and Washington Street
Support marriage equality? All the cool senators are doing it these days. Follow Patrick Moriarty ’14 to Hartford:
On March 26-27, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases that are fundamentally about whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender (LGBT) Americans should have the same freedoms as everyone else. Those two cases will decide the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 — this is a huge and historic moment. Lend your voice to the rising tide of those speaking out in favor of marriage equality.
½ mile Community March to rally from Metropolitan Community Church gathers at 5:30pm, 155 Wyllys Street. Wear Red & Bring Signs
For more info visit FaceBook Marriage Equality Rally (Connecticut) or @ Light To Justice.
Date: March 25, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Federal Courthouse: 450 Main Street, Hartford
It’s pretty much what you thought would happen: once you left Middletown for spring break, things got interesting. The ongoing saga over the proposed Washington Street commercial development entered a new phase of visibility when community activists, parents, children, professors, and students took to Wash and High St. for an hour yesterday afternoon, cycling around the intersection to present their opposition to the potential development to motorists.
Wesleyan’s institutional involvement in the decision opened with a proposal to move Broad Street Books to the new complex, if built. Though the bookstore plans were quickly canceled due to a chilly reception from the Wes community and Middletown, the administration is still contracted to sell its property in the area to the developer, Centerplan.
Below, see some interviews featuring Jen from Kid City ’88 (hello!) and Maggie Masselli ’16 (hi!), as well as footage of walk-signal coordinated crossings. More information after the jump; comments, corrections, and points of information welcomed.
Earlier this month, The Onion mocked college activists in a video news clip entitled “College Activists Excited to Add Powerless Voices to Gun Debate,” which involved an actual Argus editorial and a fake interview with Micah Feiring ’11 (renamed “Michael Feiring”) in its scathing take-down.
A few days later, on Valentine’s Day (which doubled as the two-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting), I joined about 30 other Wesleyan students, as well as Rabbi David Teva and Reverend Tracy Mehr-Muska, on a brief trip to Hartford for the March for Change rally in support of stricter gun laws. Initially proposed by Reverend Tracy, the trip was organized by Em Kianka ’13, Zach Malter ’13, and Michael Linden ’15.
Carrying signs with slogans like “MORE LOVE LESS GUNS” and “STAND ON THE SIDE OF LOVE,” we arrived at the state capital building in Hartford, where a crowd of over 5,000 supporters had gathered near mounds of snow and Governor Dannel Malloy was finishing up a stirring speech that hearkened back to his moving remarks in the hours after the tragedy. “Every day that we delay is a day in which more innocent individuals,” Malloy spoke from the capital steps. “I hope the NRA hopes the ‘Newtown Effect’ will go away. It won’t. We can’t let what happened in Connecticut ever go away.” At one point, a hushed chant broke out in the crowd: “Now. Now. Now. Now.”
In case you missed it, Wesleyan has missed yet another opportunity for ranking and recognition. We might not care about U.S. News or The Princeton Review or The Huffington Post, but this one hurts. Westboro Baptist Church skipped over ole Wesleyan to select Vassar College as its “Ivy League Whorehouse” (despite the fact that Vassar is not, in fact, a member of the Ivy League), and Vassar students are taking the honor with pride.
WBC will picket Vassar College to warn the students, faculty, and alumni that the satanic policies of this nation, especially those of the colleges and universities, are causing God to pour His wrath out upon this nation. Doomed american academics fancy themselves to be smarter than God. They promote the fag agenda with all their might and mock the word of God and His messengers at every turn. Let’s see how that works out for them on the Judgment Day!
God Hates Vassar College for following the satanic Zeitgeist by professing the soul-damning lie that it is “OK to be gay.” That is what the men of Sodom and Gomorrah professed and we see how well that worked out for them. WBC will kindly warn everyone affiliated with Vassar College that the Lord that destroyed those ancient cities on the plain yet reigns. Repent or Perish!
How did Vassar students react? Since our friends over at Mads Vassar are no longer with us, let’s take our own look.
From Zach Burns ’14, Isabel Stern ’14, and Evan Weber ’13:
On Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history.
That means a fuckton of Wes-kids need to be there to make our voices heard and help the president start his second term with strong climate action by rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline.
This is a big deal, and the more people we bring, the bigger it will be and the more fun we will have. Come to the UOC (University Organizing Center, between Beta and Eclectic) at 2pm on Sunday to find out all the deetz and make transportation and other logistical plans.
In 2009, sitting at a table with a bunch of young environmental organizers, President Obama told them: “Your job is to push me.” Unless we show him and the newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry that lighting off one of the biggest carbon bombs in North America is a really, really, bad idea, he won’t have the political courage to reject this pipeline that climate activists, the media, and Congressional Republicans have turned into a huge political issue. So come to the meeting on Sunday, find out more about the action and the issues, and get pumped to move forward.
Date: Tomorrow, February 3rd
Place: University Organizing Center (between Beta and Eclectic)