By Ariele Vaccaro
To show solidarity with the students of the University of Missouri (UM), those at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) rallied in the campus’ student Union on Thursday afternoon.
The rally comes on the heels of the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and the arrest of a 19-yearold man who threatened to kill Black students at UM via social media.
The university has been the scene of racial injustices that students and faculty feel have been ignored by administration.
The rally was lead by the Black Student Union in collaboration with Youth Empowered in the Struggle and other student groups.
According to Black Student Union President Lavelle Young, it’s one of the largest rallies he’s seen the group put on.
“I think we really got the word out to the students and the administration that we’re no longer asking, you know, we really are demanding now,” said Young.
“We’re tired. We’re exhausted and we want change, and we’re not going to settle for anything less.”
It began with a march through the Union. Students held signs while shouting, “No justice, no peace!” and, “Black lives matter!”
The group stopped at the first floor, where they remembered Dontre Hamilton and held a minute of silence for he, Michael Brown, and others killed by white police officers.
They symbolically lay on the floor to honor victims of police brutality and racist violence.
Students then rose and picked up their signs.
Young asked the protesters, “Why are you tired?”
Students responded by noting an array of issues facing the Black community, particularly in Milwaukee.
They cited racial segregation and stereotyping on campus and in other public spheres.
They cited high Black male incarceration, a demographic in which Wisconsin leads the nation.
They cited those who have criticized the Black Lives Matter movement by calling it reverse racism or touting “All Lives Matter”.
“It’s obvious that all lives matter!” shouted one student during the rally.
Vice President of Student Affairs with the UWM Student Association mentioned recent cuts to public post-secondary education, saying that he is sick of state and federal governments “cutting off pathways for people of color to get educated.”
According to Young, efforts to enact change for African-Americans at UWM by the Black Student Union are anything but over.
“We don’t want people to just leave from this at the end of the day,” Young said. “We actually want students to get involved.”