Austin students protest affirmative action decision
Austin, TX – On July 8, ten students gathered on the steps of the Texas Capitol building to protest recent attacks on affirmative action. They protested the U.S. Supreme Court decision that race cannot be a factor in college admissions.
The protest linked this with the recent attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, and with defense of the Tampa 5. The Tampa 5 is a group of SDS members from the University of South Florida currently facing felony charges. They were brutalized and arrested by police while protesting the attacks on diversity programs by Governor DeSantis of Florida.
“We can see that the far-right Republicans from state legislative assemblies to the U.S. Congress to the Supreme Court are determined to destroy what little gains have been made in terms of racial and gender equality since the 1970s,” said Jules Lattimore from SDS.
Lattimore continued, “The fact is, if the far right in the federal or state governments cared about racial equality in education, they would ensure that majority Black and Latino schools received equal funding in the first place.”
Student speakers emphasized the need to struggle for more than just protection of DEI programs or affirmative action and are further demanding that their universities hire more Black and Chicano faculty and increase funding to multicultural programs.
After speaking, protesters chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Greg Abbott has got to go!” and “Education is a right, not just for the rich and white!”
The students passed out flyers with the SDS national statement on affirmative action. There is a national call to action for July 12, demanding to drop the charges on the Tampa 5 as they appear in court that morning.