by Mercedes Figueroa Solidarity Collective idVer
Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 at 10:41 PM
UCR Students walkout on January 20th
ucre.jpg, image/jpeg, 3025x3162
On January 20th, 2017 students, workers, professors, and community collectives gathered at the University of California Riverside to protest the rise of fascism and the inauguration of the president. Around 250 students, workers, professors, and community members marched through the campus in heavy rain. A coalition between United Auto Workers and The Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Students called for walkout to protest the transition of the new presidential administration.
UCR has a history of radical student organizing - actions have taken place to disrupt regents meetings. The city of Riverside has fought back against Neo-Nazis - the National Socialist Movement had their headquarters in Riverside when they attempted to deploy their "Take Back the Southwest" campaign. This campaign by the NSM failed because the community organized against them.
The students, workers, professors, and community members marched through campus chanting and the students that did not participate were supportive of the action. One student was heard saying "I wish I could join you all, but I have class right now." When the march went through the cafeteria, the workers were immensely supportive they took pictures, videos, gave thumbs ups, and smiled as the march went by.
The walkout ended at the steps of the library and there more students waited. There individual students, student organizations, unions, and community groups gave speeches about why they had attended the march. The reasons varied from the need to organize in the community, immigration, and to protect the rights of students. Surprisingly the campus police did not show up. The university security escorts showed up, but were unsure on what to do so they observed. The action was positive and well organized - this could mark a new chapter of organizing for the students on UCR.