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Students form human wall near Hayden Lawn in protest of Trump administration

ASU police responded to the event and requested the demonstration be moved off the walkway

ASU students participating in the Walk Out Against Hate protest pose for a photo on Hayden Lawn in Tempe, Arizona on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
ASU students participating in the Walk Out Against Hate protest pose for a photo on Hayden Lawn in Tempe, Arizona on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Students gathered on Hayden Lawn Thursday morning to protest a series of policies by the Trump administration, blocking the sidewalk with a human wall "against hate.”

“We came out here to stand in solidarity, with everything that’s been going on under the Trump administration,” said Berlyn Schulte, an African-American studies senior and one of the event organizers. “We have Muslim bans, we have (the) black lives matter movement, we just have every minority under attack at this point. So we’re standing in solidarity with everybody who is under attack.”

Schulte and classmates from her Global Politics of Human Rights class staged the protest after having discussions in class about injustices in America. She said the class chose to protest at 11:30 a.m. on a busy Thursday at the Tempe campus to cause a noticeable disruption.

“We all felt very passionate about what’s been going on,” Schulte said. “It got really emotional, a lot of us cried, a lot of us are just fed up. Some of us felt it was time to do something.”

Several dozen students formed a human wall on the walkway in front of Hayden Lawn, linking arms in a show of support. The group, however, would unlink arms to allow pedestrians to walk through them.

"We wanted to create a human wall to create a little bit of disruption,” Anayensi Almaraz, a global health junior who took part in the demonstration, said. “Nothing big, obviously, nothing major, but we wanted to create something you don’t usually see every day going between classes.”

The goal, Almaraz said, was to bring together groups that feel attacked and raise awareness about the ideology of the new administration.

“We invited different kinds of community, anybody who identifies as queer, Hispanic, African American,” she said. “Under the Trump administration there has been a kind of targeting going on against these communities. We hope that everybody saw this and became more informed on the current system and what that entails.”

Angeles Maldonado, the professor of the class the student organizers drew inspiration from, was also present to show support for the movement. 

“They wanted to do something about what they’ve been learning,” Maldonado said. “They’ve been learning about human rights and about how human rights are never achieved without action.”

The action, however, drew a complaint from the University's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which investigates allegations of misconduct on campus. 

ASU police spokeswoman Katy Harris said SSR called ASU police to request the protesters be moved off of the walkway. The demonstration, while reserved ahead of time, was scheduled to take place only on Hayden Lawn.

“They were linking arms and blocking the walkways,” Harris said. “This group made the reservation for Hayden Lawn and they were on the walkway.”

Officers spoke with the students about complying with the Hayden Lawn reservation, and the group moved off of the walkway around noon. No arrests were made.

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