Today Black Bruins from the University of California, Los Angeles released a statement in solidarity with the students of the University of Missouri. This statement was made in response to the recent hunger strike by Mizzou graduate student Jonathan Butler, which resulted in the resignation of University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe. Since the president’s resignation, Black Mizzou students have faced threats of violence, prompting many to leave campus.
Black Bruins also organized an on-campus rally held on the steps of Powell Library that brought together students and faculty from all over the campus. Student leaders from the Afrikan Student Union spoke on the rise of racial insensitivities on college campuses across the nation. Leaders from the Black Lives Matter Movement Los Angeles also spoke.
The official Afrikan Student Union statement of solidarity can be found below:
Peace and Umoja:
We, the Afrikan Student Union at the University of California-Los Angeles, stand in solidarity with the students of the University of Missouri, and offer our unequivocal support for their continued struggle against oppression.
We further extend congratulations because Black Students, in the face of extraordinarily numerous obstacles (which range from systemic lack of support to constant barrages of violent and disgusting physical crimes against them) came together in the spirit of solidarity and activism to demand change and were successful. We congratulate Jonathan Butler and the Brave 11 for their victory. We congratulate them for making the ultimate sacrifice by putting their physical bodies on the line: hunger striking until former President Tim Wolfe was removed. We thank and congratulate the participating members of the Mizzou football team for their sacrifice of security and passion, and resultant victory. They embraced the longstanding moral tradition of Black athletes like Muhammad Ali and John Carlos by refusing to practice or play until former President Tim Wolfe was removed. We congratulate the coalition of Black students and alumni for their victory in demanding more from their institution. They rose up: sacrificing safety and security to advance the community: doing the work their administration failed to do. The Black Community of Mizzou, Concerned Student 1950, and the unnamed soldiers of liberation at Mizzou refused to allow structural oppression and administrative inaction to remain an expected and acceptable requirement for the continued education of Black Students. We recognize that the battle is ongoing, but today, we celebrate your name and #BlackBruins stand in solidarity with your continued struggle!
Unfortunately, the Black Students of Mizzou have been receiving death threats in response to their activism: further illustrating the ingrained, insidious nature of anti blackness and racism that exists at Mizzou, and across the nation. Black students are at constant war. They battle racist campus climates, discriminatory practices, insufficient resources, and dwindling numbers. UCLA is no different. In the wake of our campus’ struggles, students are rising to demand more accountability, protections, and resources that are essential to the black collegiate experience. The recent actions of violence displayed at Mizzou serve as a wake up call: a call to action the we can and must not ignore!!! In the days, weeks, months, and years ahead, we must recommit to the righteous struggle of our ancestors. We embrace their spirits as we concentrate our collective efforts toward winning at all costs. We will secure our rights as Black Bruins, as Black People. Black students of Mizzou: you’ve illuminated a path that cannot and will not be extinguished. You have inspired us to demand more and seek greater. You have inspired us to accept our collective duty to fight AND our collective duty to WIN. It is far from over. We thank you. We thank you. We thank you. Ashe.
The Afrikan Student Union at UCLA