Ferguson events spark campus rally, solidarity march
Marchers at Dec. 1 rally (Bob Kimmerle photo)
Members of the campus community—students, faculty, and staff—gathered on Case Green at noon on Monday, Dec. 1, as part of a national “Hands up, Walk out” movement inspired by the events in Ferguson, Mo. A handout at the rally said that the movement “has called for people across the country to walk out of their jobs, schools, and homes…in outrage over the murder of Mike Brown and hundreds of people of color murdered by police.”
The group of approximately100 people gathered in front of Murray-Aikins Dining Hall and then marched out the main entrance of the College, down North Broadway, and through the center of downtown Saratoga Springs, ending up in Congress Park. A number of the participants carried signs, such as those reading “Skidmore in Solidarity with Ferguson” and “Black lives matter; all lives matter,” and the marchers chanted in unison during much of the walk. The reception from onlookers ranged from high-fives and words of encouragement to angry retorts.
Once in Congress Park, the marchers gathered in a circle for a “speakout.” “Students, faculty, staff, and community members of color spoke emotionally about their fears for family members’ safety, while others also affirmed their commitment to justice and their solidarity with Ferguson, communities of color, and each other,” said Silvena Chan, an organizer of the event and program coordinator, Office of Student Diversity Programs.
Said Jennifer Mueller, assistant professor of sociology and a co-organizer of the march, “We wanted to respond in support, but even more so to create an outlet for folks feeling deeply upset, enraged, and concerned. This was opportunity to stand in solidarity with Ferguson and activists protesting across the nation, and hopefully to empower people to take further action.”