Hundreds of students hold rally to support Mizzou

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Students gather in front of Bailey/Howe library in support of Mizzou. OLIVER POMAZI/The Vermont Cynic

[Updated: 10:29 p.m. Nov. 16, 2015]

 

Over 200 students gathered in front of the Bailey/Howe Library Nov. 13 to show support for the students at the University of Missouri.

The rally began at 1 p.m.

The event began with a speech by sophomores Marylyn Rogel and Bri Ball.

“Slavery was eradicated in 1864 but we still wear our chains. It is dangerous to believe that racism no longer exists and that we are all equal,” Ball said.

Rogel said that she has a friend from her hometown, Chicago, IL, who attends the University of Missouri and is a black male. She spoke about how they spoke the night before, and how he said the students there feel unsafe.

“Why is this happening in 2015?” Ball said. “It is so easy to stand here and say, ‘This is an issue in Missouri.’ But no, racism, ignorance and hatred live and thrive even on UVM’s campus.”

Ball referred to anti-Islam fliers being put up earlier in the year on campus as well as at St. Michael’s College. She also mentioned two people of color receiving KKK fliers in the mail around Oct. 29.

Rogel referred to a Nov. 2 incident on campus, when a student sent an e-mail with the “n-word” to 68 students. SGA placed the club on probation Nov. 3.

“He didn’t and doesn’t think he did anything wrong,” she said.

There were people on social media complaining about the noise and that the rally was not as important as studying for exams, Griffin Cohen said.

“That is your privilege speaking. You have the privilege to sit and study while people of color have to fight for those privileges and fight for the right to sit in a library and safely study,” Cohen said.

The experience of being at the protest was “empowering,” first-year Scott Ganz said.

“I felt so empowered to make a change being there,” Ganz said.

After the speech, the crowd walked to the Waterman building where they held a moment of silence.

The protest was organized by Rogel, Ball and former student Jess Fuller. The event was created on Facebook two days ago.

“When I first started planning this I thought ‘I can get a 100 people to show up but the number of people that showed up was just amazing,’ Monroe said.