​Walking the Walkout

“No Trump. No hate. No KKK. No fascist USA” students, one with a red and white bullhorn, shouted together as they walked from the classrooms of Ballantine Hall to the freshly-painted hallways of the O’Neill 

A walk-out on Friday, in protest of Trump’s inauguration, halted class instruction and interrupted studying students as protesters chanted anti-Trump slogans past classes with thin walls. Protesters came inside classrooms to encourage students to skip class in protest.

The protest began in the commons area near the elevators in Ballantine Hall, freshman participant 
Cassiday Moriarity said. From there protesters marched through four floors of Ballantine Hall and went to Showalter Fountain. The group continued through Woodburn Hall, the Global and International Studies building, Wells Library, the O’Neill Center and Hodge Hall.

They began with a little more than thirty people, and participants came and went throughout the walk-out, Moriarity said. It took place from about 10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.

Moriarity said the group shouted chants such as “Education not deportation” and “Hands too small, can’t build a wall.”

“Some people were clapping and cheering us on,” Moriarity said. “Other people were shouting at us to be 
quiet and leave them alone.”

During the walk-out, the chants of marchers were not only heard in the hallway but inside classroom doors.

Freshman Legene Robinson said her class was interrupted by a girl bursting in and yelling “Fuck Trump, skip class,” a distraction her teacher had to recover from. Robinson said one friend’s class was halted by the sharp bark of a bullhorn. Robinson had been invited beforehand to join the protest but chose to go to class instead.

Other students encountered the same in their own classrooms.

“It’s just odd hearing someone come in and start yelling ‘fuck Trump’ in an anatomy class,” junior Aish Thamba said.

Steven Dora, a former student at IU, helped plan the walk-out and said he supported the interruption.

“Protest requires elements of disruption,” he said. “A protest without disruption is the same as sitting home in silence.”

Students were informed of the protest through word of mouth, online flyers and social media. Moriarity said she thought it looked like a good idea.

“With everyone else talking about the issues with Trump and being very active in it, I felt like it was important that I take a stand,” 
Moriarity said.

Freshman Shyam Raman was interested in the walk-out when he was told about it by a colleague and saw it on the online flyer. However, accounts of the actual walk-out made him glad he had a class on the other side of campus at 10 a.m., he said.

“I understand that solidarity is important, but disruptive protest is not the means to make change,” 
Raman said.

Thamba, who also chose not to participate because she had class, said she feels ambivalent about the walk-out. She said she felt the interruption was inappropriate and walk-outs simply don’t have as much power as other methods of making change.

“Students need to go farther,” Thamba said, “By talking to representatives, politicians and finding other ways of fulfilling our civic duty that accomplish more than just raising awareness.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Tabitha Espiritu said she wished she had been there and said it is her right as an American to participate.

“This is the best way to show voters Trump represents not just voters, but everyone,” she said.

Moriarity said the walk-out was more to her than just making a scene. According to her, it was her first time protesting. Though she’d stood silently at rallies before, this was the first time a cause led her to skip class, make a statement and march against hate, she said.

“Finally I was able to be myself and stand up for what I believe in,” Moriarity said.

She said she sees the inauguration of Trump and Pence as a direct threat to her rights and the rights of others. She is a member of the LGBT community, she said.

“It scares me that I could, in the future, not be able to love who I want to love,” 
Moriarity said.

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