Ben Kaufman ’17 and Wyatt Smitherman ’16 debate the efficacy of on-campus student activism in light of the wave of recent student protests at Stanford University.
The University received an email shortly after the Silicon Shutdown protest on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, “expressing concern and threatening to file a lawsuit,” according to an email to The Daily from Brad Hayward, senior director of strategic communications for the University.
The Ferguson Action movement has flourished as a refreshing example of how our generation can successfully organize itself and make its opposition to injustices heard – something that Divestment organizers clearly hope to emulate in surely the best of intentions. But the Ferguson-Palestine narrative is a dangerous line to walk, and Divestment organizers risk not only alienating members of the coalition they have worked so hard to build, but, more importantly, perpetuating an anti-Semitic fiction that affects us all.
Monday afternoon, Stanford students and community members shut down the San Mateo-Hayward bridge in support of the Ferguson Action national demands, which include the demilitarization of local law enforcement and the repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community-based alternatives to incarceration.
Beginning 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, organizers of the Palo Alto State of Emergency group led between 200 to 300 Stanford students and community members in a demonstration reacting to Monday’s grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown this past August.