By Taylor Jenson
Students and their supporters rallied on campus at the University of Texas in Austin (UT) on Tuesday to continue their struggle against the $8 million deal between the school and the University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) to create a new satellite police office at Walter Web Hall.
The student group hosting the event, Cops Off Campus, led a short march to the steps of the UT Tower with chants and slogans for those slain by police this year and last, calling out the names of Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
Having just recalled instances of police violence against working class Black people and Latinos, activists from Cops Off Campus and other organizations spoke from atop the steps to a growing crowd. The activists pointed to how the police presence will endanger many on campus, including Black students and homeless people.
After speeches advocating revolutionary organizing and connecting the police to US imperialism, the march of students and supporters continued through campus, leading chants such as “One Solution: Revolution!” and “When students and workers are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Demonstrators stopped periodically to let students take the megaphone and express their opinions as well as to point out symbols and monuments on campus and explain their racist history.
The march proceeded to the PMA(Physics, Math, and Astronomy) building, which until last year was called the Robert Lee Moore (RLM) Building. At this stop, an activist stated how the professor after whom the building was formerly named opposed desegregation in his classroom and openly boasted of his prejudices against Black students when he was forced to admit them into his classes. After years of demanding the building’s name be changed, following the uprisings last year UT’s administration changed it as a token concession to the demands of student anti-racist organizing.
“People’s Justice is not found in courtrooms it’s found in the streets,” said one activist before leading the march onto E. Dean Keeton St. where the students and supporters interrupted the normal flow of traffic until they arrived at Walter Web Hall, the site of the proposed UTPD satellite office.
Cops Off Campus reiterated their demands at this time, calling for the cancellation of the school’s $8 million deal for the satellite station with UTPD and an end to the university’s collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the military.
The march once again took the streets on Guadalupe, disrupting traffic and gaining additional marchers from students and workers until returning to its starting point.
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