Several University of Wisconsin student organizations, including the Young Democratic Socialists of America and the International Socialist Organization-Madison, coordinated an emergency rally Tuesday to stand with the migrant caravan present at the Mexican border.
U.S. Border Patrol agents recently fired tear gas at the caravan, motivating many UW students to protest. UW freshman TJ Hinds felt the actions of the border patrol agents were unacceptable.
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“What we’ve seen this past week has been such an intensification of the policy at the border … things have gotten really bad recently so coming out here was just something I had to do,” Hinds said.
Other protesters took issue with the tear gas used at the border. Socialists Alternative member Nick Puetz argued that the tear gas use was illegal. He believes that the nature of the attack shows a disrespect for refugees’ lives.
“The nature of this attack shows the utterly callous disregard for the lives and wellbeing of people of color from Latin America,” Puetz said.
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One speaker, third-year UW law student Charris Zimmick, had experience working at the border to provide legal services to the women and children who had been detained in federal detention after trying to seek asylum.
Zimmick relayed several of the stories she heard from the young women she worked with. These stories detailed how many of the women fled due to threats on their lives, whether they were from abusive boyfriends or local gangs. She explained that most of the women she met were not trying to attain the “American Dream,” but were just trying to survive.
“The time to join a revolutionary socialist organization is now,” Puetz said. “Solidarity, we have a world to win.”