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South Florida students rally to #DumpTrump

By Danya Zituni

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Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protested Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of South Florida on Feb. 12. Over 150 students and activists rallied outside the USF Sun Dome against Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee agenda.

The Trump event was announced just days before, yet the SDS call to protest was eagerly received by progressive students. Hundreds of flyers were distributed by SDS members to mobilize people against Trump and racist politicians.

Trump advocates the banning of Muslims and deporting undocumented immigrants. An Israeli flag at the entrance to the Trump event announced to everyone that the Wall Street politician backs U.S. wars and occupations in the Middle East.

Elizabeth Kramer of Tampa Bay SDS led the chants opposing Trump’s message of fear, hate and war: “When Muslims are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” and “Donald Trump, shame on you, immigrants are people too!” The big crowd pleaser was, “No more wars, no more hate, Donald Trump get out of our state!”

Protesters echoed the chants enthusiastically, and hundreds heard and saw the demo, as SDS led a march and occupied the street in front of the Sun Dome at the start of the Trump event.

Tampa Bay SDS made the connection between Trump and C.W. Bill Young, whom the ROTC building on campus is named after. Bill Young was a Florida congressmen during the 60s who served on the Johns Committee, which was responsible for the persecution of LGBTQ students and faculty, including at USF. SDS is currently leading a campaign to change the name of the C.W. Bill Young Building.

“While Trump supports depriving legal and civil rights from queers, Bill Young supported proposals which would have made ‘homosexual acts’ a federal offense. The C.W. Bill Young building, which USF administration has regarded as the core of the university, enshrines a legacy of hatred and violence against queers on campus,” said Jack Ling of Tampa Bay SDS.

Jared Austin of Tampa Bay SDS connected Trump’s war mongering to campus military contracts, “Students for a Democratic Society-Tampa is leading a struggle on the USF campus to cut the contracts with U.S. Southern Command and Central Command, who actively use our tuition dollars to do research and recruitment for military operations that destabilize and terrorize the Middle East and Latin America.”

The rally ended on a high note, with many students stating their interest in continuing to build struggle on campus against systemic oppression, and for social change, by joining SDS.

Along with Tampa Bay SDS were the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Raices en Tampa, Students for Justice in Palestine, and USF Bulls for Bernie.

#TampaFl #AntiwarMovement #StudentsForADemocraticSociety #SDS #PeoplesStruggles #UniversityOfSouthFlorida #Florida #Elections #DonaldTrump #DumpTrump #USFSDS #TampaBay