More than 100 students attended a rally held on MU’s campus Thursday. The rally was started by the group Concerned Student 1950 in protest of UM System President Tim Wolfe and in support of Jonathan Butler, the graduate student who embarked on a hunger strike until Wolfe resigns.
The rally started at the university’s student center before heading to Memorial Union, Lowry Mall, Speaker’s Circle, Jesse Hall, Reynold’s Alumni Center and ending on Carnahan Quad. At each stop, members of Concerned Student 1950 took turns educating the group along with bystanders.
As the rally entered Memorial Union the chant “If we don’t get it, shut it down” echoed throughout the crowd. The group made its first stop in Bengal’s Lair, a lounge inside Memorial Union, and began chanting “You can’t stop us in the revolution, join us in the revolution.”
A member of Concerned Student 1950 addressed the crowd in Bengal’s Lair.
“Who knows marginalized students are oppressed on this campus?” she asked. “Who knows that UM System President Tim Wolfe is a part of that oppression?”
Members of the crowd cheered and agreed as these questions were asked. Before leaving the location, participants in the rally shouted to the crowd to educate themselves if they were unaware why the rally was taking place.
“Tim Wolfe means we got to fight back” was chanted as the rally exited the building. As the rally made its way to Lowry Mall, one leader of Concerned Student 1950, Imani Simmons- Elloie encouraged the group to stay tight and stay together. Members of the group echoed the sentiment that supporting each other was crucial.
The group rallied down Lowry Mall, stopping outside Lowry Hall to chant “I know that we will win” and “Tim Wolfe means we got to fight back.” There, they picked up more supporters and gathered attention of faculty member standing inside Lowry Hall.
The rally continued to Speaker’s Circle where a leader of the group Concerned Student 1950, Reuben, stopped to educate the attendees.
“Tim Wolfe said he is not completely aware of systems of oppression,” Reuben Faloughi said. “Whatever marginalized identity you have he does not completely understand what that experience is and he is not interested in learning.”
Faloughi stressed the importance of having Wolfe removed.
“Tim Wolfe has to go,” Faloughi said. “You know why? Because the body follows the head where it goes. So if Tim Wolfe can get away with not understanding systems of oppression, so can faculty, staff, other administration and students can get away with perpetuating that too.”
A student who participated in the rally and asked to be referred to as Jane, said she appreciated the educational moments along the rally.
“It wasn’t just about rallying and chants,” Jane said. “It was about educating those who are unaware of our cause.”
After Speaker’s Circles, the rally entered Jesse Hall before continuing to the Alumni Center and ending on Carnahan Quad where students have been camped out all week in protest of Wolfe.
The rally ended in an emotional chant coined by Assata Shakur. Members of Concerned Student 1950 gathered together and embraced as they chanted:
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win. We must love and support each other, we have nothing to lose but our chains.”