The University of Massachusetts (UMass) was on spring break for Day X, but we decided to go ahead with the walkout on Monday 24 March. Four activists met over the weekend to organise the walkout, 10 people showed up to help advertise for the walkout in the morning, and 250-300 walked out. It was a very spontaneous action, many showed up today thinking the walkout was not going to happen.
Stop the war in Iraq. US.
Boston students walk out against Bush
A handful of lively pro-war supporters, the Office of Student Life, and the Campus Police started ripping down all the flyers as soon as they went up. We were also threatened with disciplinary action for not following the correct bureaucratic steps to reserve public space and get various permits from various departments. We negotiated with police and administration to prevent anything including arrests from happening. We also got many members of the faculty and staff to call the administration and public safety to voice their support for the students who were walking out. NBC, ABC, the Boston Herald and Globe attended our rally – we have not seen the content of coverage yet.
This is a very important event at UMass – probably the biggest demonstration in two years. The last demonstration near this size was in reaction to the university’s Administration proposal to double-parking fees.
Afterward our protest, many students expressed their desire to get involved. The next event for UMass is a ‘Community Meeting’, which is being organised by the trade unions against the Governor’s proposed budget cuts and restructuring of the UMass system. The meeting takes place this coming Wednesday, 26 March. The trade unions have yet to receive much active student support for the issue, since a rally at the state house last year, but the presence of trade unionists at the walkout today should boost support.