MADISON, Wis.- Last night, University of Wisconsin-Madison students marched to show solidarity with black students at the University of Missouri, also known as Mizzou.

About 600 students met on the campus’ landmark Bascom Hill and opened by speaking of racism on their own campus and reminding protesters to remain peaceful if provoked by opposing bystanders.

The march is just one of many across the nation to denounce the racism that has taken place on Mizzou’s campus and the failures of the university’s administration to implement action against the events. Following the resignation of Mizzou’s president Timothy Wolfe, threats were made against black students that led to students leaving campus and not attending classes out of fear of being targeted. Two students were arrested in relation to threats posted on the social media app Yik-Yak that suggested physical harm towards black students on campus.
P_UWMizzou191 (Photo by Jessica Canela)

Students nationwide have taken to social media with the following statement to show support to black students at the university.

“To the students of color at Mizzou: we, students of color and allies at the [University name here] stand with you in solidarity. To those who would threaten your sense of safety, we are watching.”

UW organizers marched from Bascom Hill to the Wisconsin State Capitol, stopping at checkpoints such as Library Mall and the Gilman and State intersection before arriving to the Capitol. At each intersection student leaders educated organizers of past acts of racism on campus and inequalities in the city of Madison.

In 2011, a black doll was hung from a house on Langdon Street with its limbs bound, reminiscent of lynchings. The same year, the Center for Equal Opportunity issued a report calling UW-Madison’s admissions process discriminatory against white and Asian students by admitting too many unqualified students of color. A year later, students attending a party at the Delta Upsilon fraternity reportedly yelled racial slurs and threw a glass bottle at two black women nearby.

“I remember receiving an e-mail telling me I wasn’t qualified enough to be here. I still have that e-mail,” said Shenell Edwards, now senior.

Once at the Capitol, organizers listened to words from State Representative Mandela Barnes and Alix Shabazz of Madison’s Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition.
UWMizzou (Photo by Karla Foster)

Shabazz has worked with UW students to create an organization that joins students and community members of color interested in turning demonstrations into organization.

“We know the violence students at Mizzou are facing is a result of racism and white supremacy all throughout the United States. We recognize the same violence that students experience on campus is inextricably linked to the violence that we experience in the larger community abroad. And because we recognize this, YGB — as well as other campus students from Black Student Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán and other black organizations — came together to form the Black Liberation Action Coalition,” said Shabazz.

“We’ve got a crowd of people committed to justice and committed to the people. We’re gathered tonight because we want to see things happen in a better way. We’re here marching for safety…The struggle never ends…We will not never forget where we were Nov. 12, 2015, marching in solidarity with the students in Missouri, even though we’re all the way in Wisconsin because we will not forget,” said Rep. Barnes.