Nearly 100 students gathered atop Bascom Hill Friday night to highlight what they see as University of Wisconsin’s lack of action toward racism against students of color, white supremacy and community control over police.
Protesters blocked the homecoming parade’s route along library mall and delayed it for approximately 15 minutes before moving toward Langdon Street. Along the way they repeated chants like “no justice, no peace,” “shut it down” and “whose streets? Our streets.”
Black Action Liberation Commission, a student activist group, organized the rally in response to an incident on Oct. 29 where two individuals in the general section of the stadium wore costumes representing President-elect Donald Trump pulling a noose on President Barack Obama and former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
UW administration did not initially condemn the costumes, but instead defended them as fair use of free speech. Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez have since apologized for how they handled the incident and have banned nooses at athletic events.
Blank apologizes for handling of Camp Randall noose incidentAt Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Chancellor Rebecca Blank apologized for the University of Wisconsin’s response to an incident involving a Read…
Protesters at the rally said calling the incident an instance of free speech was an indicator of white supremacy on campus. Rally members then proceeded to chant “all I want to say is that they don’t really care about us, all I want to say is that Becky don’t care about us, all power to the people.”
Students held posters portraying Bucky as a Ku Klux Klan member and Blank holding a noose. Others stood holding posters stating “black lives matter” and “my generation is better than this.”
UW senior Luke Voegeli said he was disappointed in UW students for allowing racist acts to occur.
“My generation is better than this,” Voegeli said. “It is past time for racism to be funny on my campus and I don’t want to see this on my campus because it terrifies me.”
The protesters proceeded down Bascom Hill and through library mall holding a large sign that said “Community control over police” while chanting “fuck white supremacy, this is our university.”
UW senior Icelle Anderson said she was frustrated with UW’s lack of action toward the incident at Camp Randall. She said UW’s response was “ridiculous,” especially when students need administration’s support.
The rally also blocked the intersection between University Avenue and Park Street. There they demanded that communities have more power over institutions like the police. Students observing the rally in Chadbourne residence hall yelled “white lives matter too,” which prompted protesters to resume chanting “fuck white supremacy.”
UW sophomore Erin Guokas said she wanted to represent anyone who was oppressed, whether it was because of the community or police. UW junior Jonathan Chang said he wanted to create a safe space for anyone facing racism.
“My friends are having trouble with racism and they just want to leave,” Chang said. “No one should ever feel that way and no one should be afraid to wake up in the morning.”