Approximately 40 students walked out of class at 10:30 a.m. on Friday in protest of Tuesday’s presidential election.
Students leaving class gathered on the Rabb Steps and others who did not have class came as well. The crowd was silent as Miranda Hurtado-Ramos ’19, organizer of the event, used a megaphone to address them. “We want to make our voices heard,” she said. Ramos said the campus had been practicing quiet healing, but the walkout was a chance for “loud healing.”
Supporters held signs that read, “Black Lives Matter,” “The border crossed us,” and “Brown and proud”.
As a member of the Chicanx community, Hurtado-Ramos expressed her fear about President elect, Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric during his campaign. She also spoke about how national issues affected the campus community. Using climate change as an example, Hurtado-Ramos stressed the importance of divesting the university’s endowment.
The protest brought a large group of people together to address the impact of the election and how they could move forward. It was an exercise in strength, according to Hurtado-Ramos.
She organized the event to parallel a walkout occurring on Cornell University’s campus. Hundreds of students walked out in protest of hate speech that had proliferated during the election. The protest blocked traffic and students chanted as they walked, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.
At least six students used the megaphone to engage with the crowd, sharing their feelings and offering support. Their central message was the importance of supporting other members of the community. One of the students who spoke suggested that practicing bystander intervention in situations of racism or sexism could help combat instances of hate. “Don’t be afraid to lend out a hand,” she said.
Another student referenced the historical significance of Nov. 9, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It marked an outpouring of hate against members of the Jewish community in Germany in 1938. “That’s what happens when people don’t stand up for each other,” she said.
Other students expressed anger at the results of the election. “I want to make one thing clear: This is all about white supremacy,” a student told the crowd. “This election is a response to the last eight years,” another student added, referencing the progressive nature of Obama’s presidency.
The walkout was inspired by Chicanx protests in 1968, where students staged walkouts to demand equality in education, according to the Facebook event. “Let us draw upon the wisdom of our ancestors and walkout to demand justice,” the page read.
The walkout was one of many events in which people gathered to express their feelings about the election. On Thursday, approximately 150 people joined Anita Hill in Golding 110 to talk about their fear and uncertainty about the future of the country.