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There was a huge protest at the University of Texas at Austin yesterday. It was inspired by the racist game that was being promoted by the Young Conservatives of Texas. Actress America Ferrera headlined the protest on the University of Texas South Mall.
Hundreds of students attended. They were loud. They were smart. They were inspiring and resolved to act. University of Texas journalism student Nia Wesley said the following about the event.
The rally brought together so many different and diverse students standing in support of undocumented Longhorns and their families. The part that touched me the most was the personal stories of the students who fear being deported and separated from their families.
The local media took on the event by storm, and actress America Ferrera even came to support the students and gave a passionate speech about pressuring legislators and demanding change.
I felt a strong sense of unity at the rally and my heart aches for the undocumented students. There was a lot of emotion at this rally, especially from the slam poetry artists.
I really hope this rally inspires change on the UT campus and the entire nation.
Nia Wesley subsequently wrote this article for The Horn, an online newspaper serving the Texas Longhorn community. In that article she noted that there were many other universities acting in solidarity with the Texas Longhorns, including the University of Houston, Texas A & M University, Dartmouth College, Texas State University, Rice University, UT San Antonio, Tufts, St. Mary’s, and many others.
A written statement received by Raymond José, who is an organizer at United We Dream, is as follows:
“Everyday that Congress does not act, 1,110 people are deported; within that number are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We need Congress to act now and deliver on an immigration reform that is right and just for the 11 million.”
On a personal note, I attended the University of Texas back in the '80s. The university was always vibrant and activist oriented. I remember occupying the South Mall in our fight to divest the University from South Africa. It seemed we "occupied" before Occupy was in vogue. My daughter just graduated this year from the University of Texas as well. I always told her I was shocked at how passive the university had become on being on the forefront of issues in a visible and activist manner. This week I could not be more proud of the students at the University of Texas. Having an activist like actor America Ferrera being a part of it is icing on the cake.