A whopping eight University of Minnesota students held a sit-in at President Joan Gabel’s office on Friday to demand the disarmament of campus police.
They also demanded an “increase [in] the diversity of the student population,” for what it’s worth.
The protest by the Students for a Democratic Society kept alive the (former) issue from over a year ago, when almost double the number of Friday’s total demonstrated outside of UMPD headquarters.
According to the Minnesota Daily, the activists cleverly referred to their protest as a “study-in” because, after all, besides maintaining social justice bonafides, students are still responsible for doing classwork and taking exams!
The sit-in is part of a broader campaign by the student group this year to demand action by the University.
“This is essentially a reminder that we expect these demands to be met,” said Jackson Bianchi, an organizer for the event. …
“The goal is to occupy space … to keep it chill and study,” said Jack Nimz, another SDS member who organized the event.
Attendees snacked on Halloween-themed donuts and coffee as they studied.
First-year student Étienne Magdalen took the studying aspect of the study-in seriously.
“I have a midterm in half an hour,” Magdalen said, looking over his textbook. “I agree with the resolutions [from SDS], I just have to balance social justice with school.”
In its report on the 2018 protest, the Daily notes the last time a UM police officer actually fired a weapon was in 2012 — and that was to put a dying raccoon out of its misery. At that demonstration, the SDS handed out fliers asserting the UMPD possesses 57 automatic rifles and “spends $500,000 per year on new arms and supplies.”
And not that it would necessarily mean anything substantive, but even the UM student government disagrees with the SDS; last year, a resolution to disarm campus cops was defeated by almost 400 votes.
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