Minnesota students are walking out of class Friday in protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
The walkouts are happening at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College as part of a citywide call to action by the “Resist from Day One Coalition.” Graduate student Matt Boyton, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society, said they’re protesting national politics, but also discrimination on campus.
“The university markets itself as an increasingly diverse place,” he said, “but what we’ve actually seen is increased hostility towards people of color and women, and non-heterosexual people on campus.”
The walkout, rally and march are being organized by a coalition of student groups on various campuses. The rally is to begin at 1 p.m. today in the front plaza of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Afterward, students will meet up with the Resist from Day One Coalition Mega March.
Doing more than voting
According to Boyton, protesters don’t expect to change the president-elect’s mind on issues, but he said it’s more about mobilizing people and letting them know that to be part of a democratic society, it takes more than casting a ballot every four years.
“I know since Trump’s election, I’ve talked with large numbers of people who have never protested before, and are just now protesting, just now holding signs, just now talking with their coworkers about politics,” Boyton said. “So, I think his election – unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it – has really woken a lot of people up.”
The marches and protests include a “Janitors Strike against Trump,” a “Native Lives Matter Resistance” and a rally at Minneapolis City Hall.