Large protest at U of MN demands justice for Daunte Wright
Minneapolis, MN – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Black Student Union held a protest on the University of Minnesota campus, April 17, to demand justice for Daunte Wright, to call for community control of the campus police (UMPD), and to speak out against the recent deployment of the UMPD to brutalize protesters in Brooklyn Center. About 1000 students were in attendance, marking the largest on-campus demonstration in recent history. Speakers included students and community members who have experienced brutality at the hands of the National Guard this week while out in the streets demanding justice for Daunte Wright.
Camille Winston of the Black Student Union condemned the university’s response to the murder of Daunte Wright, saying “University President Joan Gabel and Chief Clark [UMPD police chief] decided to support the police who shot and killed him.” SDS member Nadia Shaarawi said, “Joan Gabel has more of a commitment to a police contract than she ever has had to her students.”
Since the murder of George Floyd last May, SDS has been calling for more police accountability on campus and has faced continued resistance from administration. The recent deployment of UMPD in riot gear to Brooklyn Center shows the need for students, workers and community members to be able to control their campus police force. SDS is campaigning for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) to win this power for the university community.
Jae Yates, a recent U of MN graduate and a member of the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice for Jamar, addressed the crowd, saying, “Daunte Wright could have come here. Daunte Wright was 20 years old. He was the same age as so many people who go to this university.”
Students who saw themselves or their peers in Daunte Wright’s story took the streets surrounding campus to shout his name and to demand justice for all stolen lives.