Students march against hate at CMU protest - WNEM TV 5

Students march against hate at CMU protest

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MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -

Class walkouts continue across the nation, and now Central Michigan University students have also stood up against hate. 

A walkout protest was held at Central Michigan University on Tuesday. The march began in the courtyard between Anspach and Pearce Halls on the campus and ended at Warner Hall.

Organizers of the protest are part of Central Michigan Action, a group dedicated to fighting for people who feel threatened. 

The group has made it very clear this is not a march against Donald Trump, but instead a protest against the message of hate. 

"First, to give voice to the very real and legitimate fears of those threatened directly by the recent presidential campaign, including women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, religious minorities, and differently-abled people," said John Arlt, with CMA. "Only by expressing and working through our anger and fear can we move past it and build something positive."

CMU President George Ross released a response in support of the protests, saying the students have the right to protest and free speech and rightfully encouraged all to respect the rights of others to have different political views.

"I urge all of us to be beacons of peace, respect, inclusivity and civility, and to be role models of integrity, dignity and leadership," Ross said. "At (CMU), we stand up against hate, protect the safety of all and build bridges of understanding that bring people together."

The following is a statement from Central Michigan Action:

Over the weekend, President Ross became aware of Central Michigan Action's walkout and protest on Tuesday, as well as our call to action on the part of the University.

Our three-point call to action on the part of the university implored President Ross to:

1) Publicly recognize the fears of students at CMU as a result of the election;

2) Reaffirm CMU's commitment to nondiscrimination clauses;

3) Pledge to defend CMU's most at risk students, including people of color, foreign exchange students, religious minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

We are pleased that President Ross has responded so quickly. In a statement released today, President Ross urged our community to remember that at CMU, we advocate for and unequivocally support differences such as race, religion, ability, gender and sexual orientation.

In addition, he has reaffirmed our right to protest and free speech, and rightfully encouraged all to respect the rights of others to have different political views.

During our direct action tomorrow the leaders of Central Michigan Action will recognize this important step forward, express appreciation for the personal support of President Ross, and push the university to take more concrete steps to ensure the safety of students, faculty and employees."

Central Michigan Action will issue further clarifications between now and the event that our action is NOT an anti-Trump protest, but rather an anti-hate protest.

We are not protesting the man. We are protesting the message.

For more information on the protest, click here

>>Slideshow: March against hate at CMU<<

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