Coalition demands University Stop Providing Platform to Trump Surrogates
Chicago –(ENEWPSF)—February 13, 2017. A coalition of organizations at the University of Chicago has delivered a letter (attached) to the school’s Institute of Politics (IOP), asking it to “to stop providing a platform to surrogates of the Trump administration.” The coalition, led by a group of faculty, staff and students calling itself “UofC Resists” has also planned a protest on Wednesday, 15 February, when Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been invited to speak. Individuals involved in drafting the letter and in planning the protest are available for comment. The protest will begin at 3:30 p.m. at 57ty and S. University.
The letter is addressed to IOP director and former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod as well as Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, who will host the Lewandowski event. It notes that Trump and his surrogates like Lewandowski and press secretary Sean Spicer, who spoke at the IOP last month, “incite hatred and violence against refugees, immigrants, and minorities—that is, against our students, teachers, co-workers and neighbors.”
The letter goes on to detail that the University of Chicago campus has seen a significant uptick in white supremacist activity since the fall. Two separate neo-Nazi groups have plastered university buildings in racist posters. In December, swastika-covered images of Hitler were hung across the campus, including on the front door of the building that houses the centers for race and gender studies. Last week, another group put up dozens of posters encouraging white people to “become great again” and to “protect your heritage.”
The authors of the letter note that the UofC administration has failed to respond to these incidents and that in conjunction with the invitation of Lewandowski to campus, this “sends a positive signal to white supremacists that they are welcome here.”
If the event proceeds as planned, a protest has been called in advance of the event to express outrage at the normalization of racism, bigotry and violence. Individuals involved in drafting the letter and in planning the protest are available for comment and a detailed media advisory will be sent out in advance of the protest.
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