“This is why we are at a University,” Prof. Mary Alice Haddad, Chair of CEAS, prefaced at the panel on the Hong Kong protests, which featured Hong Kong students Joy Ming King ‘20, Bryan Chong ‘21, Jeff Cheung ‘21,andShirmai Chung ‘20. Because similar events have caused unrest and violence on other school campuses worldwide, Prof. Haddad saw this panel as a test for Wesleyan; hoping that we can discuss the Hong Kong protests and equally important topics with mutual respect and awareness.
She drew particular attention to two posters in the High Rise elevator, which were defaced on two separate occasions in the couple of days leading up to the panel. Someone had taken the effort to put “China” next to “Hong Kong” at the end of each panelist’s name and later returned to put the word “gay” next to where “China” had been.
Chong responded civilly and hopefully in a WesAdmits 2022 post that took the high road, writing:
This level of insensitivity and disrespect is disappointing, but not by any means shocking. With every political movement comes discourse, often caustically worded out of anger or ignorance. While we cannot and should not agree on everything, we must be mindful of the manner in which we approach such issues, and the defacing of the posters violates a baseline understanding of respect. The panel began with a brief summary of Hong Kong’s history (which you can read more about in Argus articles 1, 2, and 3) by Prof. Haddad, which was followed by a sincere plea from Prof. Huang, CEAS, for the audience to patiently listen to the panelists’ narratives.
As Middletown Patch tells it, the merry band of activists made their way to Main Street’s Bank of America branch, where they flooded the entrance in caution tape and foreclosure notices. As the YouTube footage testifies, a few attempted to close their own accounts in the midst of the protest:
Those attempting to close their accounts were initially refused entry and told by bank representatives to leave the property.
A statement was read condemning the bank’s funding of mountaintop removal and “careless gambling of the health of the global economy” before students marched back to campus where representatives from local credit unions were present to help students open new accounts.
The first eleven photos are via Dan Fischer ’12. The rest—including wieb$ money shot—are courtesy of Mariama Eversley ’14. Video via the MoveYourMoneyWes YouTube channel.
Despite the continuing coverage all over the CNN and HLN and whatever other newsy-outlet they blast over at Freeman, it is often the case that it is quite difficult to grasp the gravity of the chaos that’s ripping a new hole in the Middle East and North Africa right now. That is, until some shit closer to home hits the revolutionary fan.
On Thursday, the Burlington Free Press reported that a Middlebury student, Pathik “Tik” Root ’12, went missing in Damascus, Syria, where he was studying abroad.
Yesterday, the Burlington Free Press followed up by confirming that he has indeed been taken in and is being held by Syrian authorities. It is believed that he was rounded up when he was witnessing a demonstration that was taking place on March 18th at a “major mosque in the old city.” He has not been heard from since that date.
Details remain considerably sketchy at this time. More info after the jump.
Update [3/27]: On March 26th, confirmation has been given that Tik Root has been located and is believed to be safe and well. More info on the Middlebury page. Thanks to Leslie in the comments section for the tip!