University of Texas Students Stage Walkout

Student protest: “No KKK; no fascist USA; no Trump!”

Roughly 400 University of Texas students walked out of class on Friday, Jan. 20, in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration as 45th president of the United States. The International Socialist Organization, the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, United Students Against Sweatshops, and the Revolutionary Student Front were among the event organizers.

Photo by John Anderson

“No KKK; no fascist USA; no Trump!,” and “Undocumented, Unafraid!,” chanted the massive crowd, which congregated at the UT Tower around noon. (See photo gallery.) Speakers advocated for the rights of immigrants, women, LGBTQ residents, low-income laborers, and minorities in the face of a racist, sexist regime. With bullhorns, speakers encouraged students to “embrace solidarity” and “fight back” against oppression, bigotry, racism, and Islamophobia, traits that have shown to be hallmarks of Trump’s leadership style. Speaker Andie Flores listed a specific set of demands for UT, including no university cooperation with ICE; no support for white nationalists on campus; UT divestment in companies complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land; and stronger rights for UT workers.

UT freshman Simrat Chandi, protest sign in hand, told the Chronicle she came to the event in support of gender equality and human rights. “I’m fearful of my future and well-being under Trump, but that’s not going to stop me from fighting for myself and others,” said Chandi.

Photo by Mary Tuma

The event unfolded with a handful of skirmishes with Trump voters and one detainment. A UT student and Trump supporter, self-identified as Arthur Thorburn, threatened to brandish a concealed knife attached to his backpack when student Joshua Ellis engaged him in conversation in an attempt to break down barriers. However, UT police later detained Thorburn after he and another student nearly erupted into a fistfight. (University police tell the Chronicle they have no additional information to release about the detainment at the moment.)

The group migrated through campus and to the Capitol. They are expected to meet up with the One Resistance citywide protest at Auditorium Shores at 4pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Trump administration
Women's March in Austin Does Its Part in Historic Day of Protest
Women's March in Austin Does Its Part in Historic Day of Protest
As many as 50,000 participated locally in anti-Trump demonstration

Sarah Marloff, Jan. 21, 2017

Doggett: Keep Hope Alive
Doggett on Trump
Lloyd Doggett on Trump, the future, and the responsibility of citizens

Michael King, Jan. 12, 2017

More by Mary Tuma
ICE Targeted Immigrants in Sanctuary With Hefty Fines, Emails Show
ICE Targeted Immigrants in Sanctuary With Hefty Fines, Emails Show
Documents show Trump administration surveilled and targeted

Oct. 30, 2020

5th Circuit Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law
5th Circuit Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law
Judges say law would have forced women into "painful, invasive, and experimental" procedures

Oct. 23, 2020


Trump administration, anti-Trump protests, Dump Trump

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle