An Arizona State University professor offered her Global Politics of Human Rights class a choice for the end of the semester final: undertake a group project or take an exam. Obviously, the group project option won overwhelmingly.
However, what the project entailed was more surprising than the students’ choice to do it in the first place. The group project was a protest against the policies of President Donald Trump on the university campus in Tempe, Arizona.
“The class decided that as a group project they wanted to make their voices heard about the issues that are affecting them today, so instead of just reading about the human-rights violations, they’d speak out about the current violations that are happening,” Professor Angeles Maldonado told the Arizona Republic. She further added that she believed it to be her duty to support her students’ decision.
Around 20 students created signs and cards and stood in a single near the library of the university, making what some might call, a human wall. Other students at the ASU were quick to join the protest, picking up more signs that displayed the slogan, “wall against hate!”
“This was something that we all got together and said we would express some of the things we don’t like, so a lot of the other people here are protesting things like immigration, immigration ban, women’s rights, things like that,” Alex Corella, a student in Maldonado’s class said.
Other issues that were highlighted by the protest included women’s rights, LGBT rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration policies and the prison system.
“I’ve been going out to a lot of protests lately to show the administration that we don’t approve of them and to show the people in our community that there are people who support them,” said Maria Pakulis, a student of female gender studies, who joined the protest even though she isn’t in Maldonado’s class.
However, not all things went as smooth during the project.
College staff requested the students to protest somewhere sidewalk traffic would not get hindered, since the students stood about a foot apart, increasing the length of the human wall and making it difficult for pedestrians to get through.
Campus police eventually had to intervene and the protesting students had to drop their signs and link up arms, which made it all the more difficult for pedestrians to get past the. Police then warned Maldonado and pedestrians were finally given enough room to walk.