Students hold an anti-police protest at Evergreen State University

This happened on November 7th but it wasn’t reported until a week later by the student newspaper. The protest was organized by the Industrial Workers of the World South Sound General Education Union. They had two related demands, which they tried to personally deliver to Evergreen President George Bridges. The first was that the school refrain from hiring two police officers. The second was that the money instead be used to hire two full-time professors.

The hiring of two additional officers was a priority for former Campus Police Chief Stacy Brown. Brown resigned from her job last August after months of conflict with student protesters. From the Cooper Point Journal:

The rally kicked off a few minutes past 1 p.m. when a group marched through Red Square from the bus loop chanting “Profs not cops!”…

First-year student Alice McIntyre also spoke. “The question of police presence on campus is not just a question of budget priorities, it’s a question of power: who runs the school, and for what purpose?” she said. “It’s abundantly clear from the decision made by the administration and board of trustees that the school is not being run in the interest of students and faculty.”

McIntyre also pointed out that “the struggle against the presence of police at Evergreen is closely linked to the defense of immigrant students and students of color,” and that “as long as police remain at Evergreen, its status as a ‘sanctuary campus’ should be viewed with a grain of salt, as should any stated commitments to equality and inclusion.”

After McIntyre spoke, one of the rally organizers ushered the large group into an intimate mass. They informed the crowd that, for all those willing, the rally was going to transport itself to President Bridges office to present an official list of demands.

The group, estimated at nearly 100, made it to President Bridges office but his door remained closed. Instead, the group presented its demands to  Vice President for Finance and Operations John Carmichael who, according to the Cooper Point Journal, offered the protesters chocolate on the way out.

Today, the IWW announced another call to action on their Facebook page including a link to this post at It’s Going Down:

Despite over 100 people delivering a letter that called for the school to not hire another cop and to instead employ two full time positions (one in political economy, one in the arts), the administration refuses to hear our demands that remain popular throughout the working class of the college.

Please help us out by calling these two phone numbers that are coordinated to the people we issued our demands to.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the school, more specifically President George Bridges, caves into these demands the way he did last year. The freshman student quoted above is right about one thing. This isn’t just about how to spend money, it’s about who runs the school. Are we going to see the same old Evergreen, i.e. eager to capitulate to student demands? Or has the substantial reduction in enrollment this year forced a change of perspective about the wisdom of allowing radical students to run the campus?