A group of students, staff and faculty stand in front of Bunche Hall with protest signs every Monday. We gather there to bear witness to the Orwellian nightmare that is the presidency of Donald Trump, and to let the world know that we cannot let this become normal.
We demonstrate because we fear that the mendacious statements, outrageous policies and sheer administrative incompetence of the Trump administration will eventually exhaust the majority of the people in this country, causing them to accept as normal what should never be the nature of our civic and political life under any circumstance.
We now face a new and menacing world of “alternative facts,” dishonesty, fearmongering, racism, misogyny and incompetence. We are threatened with the destruction of our environment and our liberties. We also face a return to a world without health care, which is and ought to be a right for all those who live here. Yet, the United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee health care for all its citizens, and our country’s leaders intend to keep it that way.
We do not shout – at least not too much. Rather, we are silent witnesses to passing students, staff and faculty. We think that what is happening is not right, and that the danger that Trump’s authoritarian administration represents for the world and civil society should be opposed. A university is a place for the exchange of ideas, open discourse and the discussion of truth.
This is why we as students, teachers and citizens – but far more as humans – need to stand together against the Trump administration’s war on liberty and basic fact. This is a war that closely matches the one waged by the government in George Orwell’s chilling novel “1984″. Along those, we must also assert that two plus two is not five, that “ignorance is not knowledge,” that “freedom is not slavery,” that “peace is not war” – regardless of what the Trump administration would like for you to believe.
We need to proclaim that no human is ever “illegal” and that we are best when we accept the differences of others and embrace them as contributors to our society. Differences are not to be feared. We celebrate differences of opinions, race, ethnicity and national origins. Students, above all people, should know and support these points of view because no one is as important for or relevant to the future as they are.
Because of this, we call on students, staff and faculty to join us each Monday. Bring signs to articulate your opposition and your engagement. Even if you don’t have words printed on paper or cardboard, come stand with us for a few minutes.
Fight with us for your future, society’s future and our university’s future. We will go on resisting for our children and grandchildren who may have to live in a world in which decades of social progress have been swept away by authoritarian and regressive policies. Please come and join us Mondays from 11:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in front of Bunche Hall.
Andrew Apter, Ali Behdad, Robin Derby, Ellen Dubois, Scarlett Freund, James Gelvin, Jessica Goldberg, Toby Higbie, Margaret Jacob, Robin Kelley, Efrain Kristal, Vinay Lal, Ann Major, Sara Melzer, Minayo Nasiali, Carla Gardina Pestana, Teo Ruiz, Sarah Stein, Brenda Stevenson, Kevin Terraciano, Jesus Torrecilla and Juliet Williams.