This past Wednesday, a group of students organized a die-in in solidarity with the national movement against racist state violence. Around 100 students arrived in Ross dining hall at 10:30, lying down in every corner of the room, as students Rubby Paulino, Kizzy Joseph, and Elizabeth Dunn read a series of statements recounting recent police killings like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and calling for the student body to join in solidarity. You can find some of the statements below, and Molly Stuart’s video footage of the event above. If you are interested in learning more about student activism around these issues, see here.
In case you missed last night’s die-in at midnight breakfast in Ross, students have organized a discussion tonight at 5 PM in the Warner Hemicycle about developing student activism at Middlebury in light of the
nationwide worldwide mobilization against race-based police brutality. This is the second in a continued effort from student organizers to bring the heightened national awareness of the persistent racism in the U.S. back to Middlebury through actions like last night’s die-in, developing ways to combat racism on campus, in Middlebury, and back home. Hope to see you there.
When: Today, 5 PM
Where: Warner Hemicycle
In addition to today’s discussion, there will be a town-wide candlelight vigil held on the town green at 4:30. If you are planning to go to both, the orientation seems to be to go to the vigil first, then to Warner following the vigil. Can anyone confirm this? In any case, come out and show your support at both. These events follow another devastating blow this Monday where a grand jury in New York decided not to indict the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death this past August. This killing was recorded on a telephone, calling into question the potential efficacy of Obama’s recent request for $262 million dollars in federal funding for police officer surveillance as a method for reducing police brutality.
When: Today 4:30
Where: Town Green
A reminder that today at 4:30 in the Warner Hemicycle there will be a follow up discussion to last Tuesday’s deliberation regarding the last week’s events in Ferguson, MO. Mario Picon and Angie Segura write in:
As some of you may know, there was a meeting on Tuesday November 25th held by Jamie McCallum and Rebecca Tiger. It was a deliberation about the court’s decision on the events in Ferguson. Many people, due to break, were unable to participate. However, Thursday December 4th there will be a continuation/brain storm about further action for Middlebury College to pursue. Come join the community to discuss a topic that has affected/effects many of us dearly this Thursday and express your ideas and thoughts about future action you would like to see on Middlebury’s campus!
When: Today 4:30 PM
Where: Warner Hemicycle
Cost: your open mind and ideas
Last Monday was a big moment in contemporary American racial politics. A grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict (now ex)-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, spurring on both local and nation-wide protest at a level not seen since this past summer’s headline grabbing upheaval. While many anticipated this decision as the natural conclusion for a criminal justice system tipped against black and brown Americans, the decision not to indict the Wilson confirmed the worst nightmares of those hoping for a mere glimmer of justice in an otherwise bleak scenario.
Opinions over the court case aside, the ever developing story line and movement surrounding Brown’s death has ushered in a new wave of discussion and scrutiny of race in the U.S. I would be surprised if many reading this article today passed their full Thanksgiving without at least a mention of Ferguson, let alone a meal-prolonging, heated debate about the myriad levels of structural and phenomenological issues presented by this poignant example of state violence against people of color. Such discussions are productive, passionate, and ongoing, yet often fail to involve the personal other than opinion. It is much easier to talk about the events leading up to Brown’s death, the evidence presented to the grand jury, and the merit of non-violent vs. violent protest than it is to delve into how we personally (and by we I largely mean those of benefiting from white privilege; more on that later) are implicated in the larger arena of racial politics.
Rubby Valentin Paulino writes in:
Monday is National Student Walk Out Day, a national call to action created by the Ferguson Action team to unite every community that has lost people to police violence and stand in solidarity with Ferguson, MO. We hope that we can come together as a college and make a change. The visible support will add to the greater pool of demonstrations and protests that occurred this past week to bring awareness to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Let us stand together and support a mass walk out on Monday at 1:01PM —the time that Mike Brown was murdered. Leave your classes, jobs, offices and dorms with your hands up and gather in front of Mead Chapel. At the location we will honor the lives lost and read the names of POC lost due to police brutality.
The purpose of this event is to bring together people around campus who are like-minded and can work together to organize future events concerning police violence against people of color. From here we can move forward and bring our ideas to change our local communities and police practices.
Regardless of race and social class, lets come together to acknowledge the very different experiences of law enforcement that come with white privilege and being a person of color in America.
When: Today, 1:01 PM
Where: Wherever you are, hands up and walk to Mead
Cost: your solidarity with Mike Brown
While many of our heads might be stuck in books this week, it’s important to think big-picture, as today is World AIDS Day. Middlebury’s student organization GlobeMed writes in to inform us about today’s 2014 World AIDS Day events:
Today is World AIDS Day, and all over the world people are uniting in the fight against AIDS. Please stop by Proctor or Ross today and pick up a red awareness ribbon to show your support! More, at 4:30 in the RAJ Kathryn Bolles, Senior Director of Global Health at Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries, will be hosting a discussion about the organization and other AIDS-related efforts happening world-wide today, and every day. We look forward to seeing you there!
What: Keynote World AIDS Day lecture by Kathryn Bolles
Date: Today, December 1
Time: 4:30-5:30 pm
Place: The Robert A. Jones House (RAJ, behind Proctor)
As most of you may know, MiddIncluded is a student led movement pushing for a change in Middlebury’s Eurocentric Cultures and Civilizations requirements. Since the launch of our petition in the Fall of 2013, we have been working to ensure that Middlebury adopts a more egalitarian curriculum that
1) reflects the values Middlebury says it stands for,
2) provides greater educational opportunities,
3) educates global citizens who come from all walks of life and will go off to be leaders around the world.
To keep things moving, we need YOUR help. Join the movement!
Come to ONE of our three scheduled workshops to see what you can do (or just to find out more/give us suggestions/have a conversation with us), and go/aal to find out more about us.
Date: Friday the 21st, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of November
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Friday and 2:00 to 3:30 on Saturday and Sunday
Place: Coltrane Lounge on Friday and Ross B11 on Saturday and Sunday
Less than two months ago on September 26, 2014, 43 students attending a protest at a rural teachers college in Iguala, Mexico were kidnapped presumably by crime syndicate Los Guerreros Unidos, the latest and among the most horrific events of Mexico’s ongoing civil strife. In this particular case, it appears that the local government had collaborated with the crime organization to squash the efforts of the protesting students to bring attention to illegal and discriminatory hiring practices of the Mexican government. In Mexico, people from all corners of the country have mobilized in support of the students demanding answers from the government, and the international student community has been showing solidarity with the student protesters (as seen in the video above), prompting Midd’s Alianza to organize a panel discussion and demonstration to bring awareness to the plight of the Ayotzinapa 43. Cindy Esparza ’17 writes in:
What if 43 Middlebury students disappeared?
Join Alianza this Thursday November 20 in Warner Hemicycle from 4:30-6:30 pm to discuss and learn more about the horrendous events that have been plaguing Mexico. This event will consist of two parts:
1) A teach-in from 4:30-5:30 pm and
2) A march in solidarity from 5:30-6:30 pm. As a means of expressing your solidarity please wear ALL BLACK.
“This is not the first, biggest, or most gruesome mass disappearance during Mexico’s past eight years of brutal drug violence. More than 106,000 have died in what government data term ‘executions,”confrontations,’ and ‘homicide-aggressions’ since former President Felipe Calderon informally declared his war on drugs in 2006. But the tragedy of Ayotzinapa is different. Rarely has the collusion between local authorities and the cartels been so obvious and the consequences so dire. Unsurprisingly, the events surrounding the case have captivated Mexico and the international community for weeks.”
When: Thursday November 20, 4:30-6:30
Where: Warner Hemicycle
Tik Root ‘12 and Wyatt Orme ‘12.5 need your help! The two recent alums were selected as finalists for Matter Magazine’s International Reporting Fellowship for a project on Rwanda’s transition from “an agrarian to a knowledge-based service economy” under longtime leader President Paul Kagame. Undergoing a massive demographic transition with half of the population coming of age in the post-genocide context, Rwanda is under considerable pressure to prepare its economy for its burgeoning entrepreneurial youth. Tik and Wyatt are hoping to explore this transition through a multimedia piece of journalism, radio, and photography, and in order to do so need to edge out their competition to pursue their proposal. Tik writes in:
The process of determining a winner is like a combination of the movies “Gladiator” (2000) and “Seabiscuit” (2004). Of the 200+ applicants, our proposal was selected with five others to spar/race online for the highest number of votes (or, in their parlance, “Recommendations”).
We’re in 2nd…a tantalizing 70 votes away from the lead and, in 15 seconds, you could help us take it. For more on our proposal and to VOTE, click here.
Instructions are at the top of the page, but a word to the wise: make sure the heart-shaped “Recommend” button turns and stays green!
See after the jump for the body of their proposal, and more information on how you can help them pursue the project. It will take no more time than sending a snapchat to bring a few Midd alum closer to pursuing an inspiring project. See the link again here.