The Students for a Democratic Society protested on the quad Monday morning as they felt the campus administration didn’t take a political stance regarding undocumented students.
President of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Lorenzo Osterheim has been waiting for the Board to take further protocols in making PCC a sanctuary school. Since passing the resolution 566 in support of undocumented students and affirming PCC as a safe learning environment during March 22’s meeting, specific procedures on how to implement the resolution still need to be written.
Based on the undocumented peers he’s talked to, Osterheim is concerned that they don’t know what their protections are on campus.
“[W]e want the administration to take more of an active role,” Osterheim said. “Many undocumented students don’t know their rights and won’t know about it until it’s gone so we need to make sure they know what we have so that if they ever try to push back we could fight for the protections.”
Osterheim scheduled the protest on May Day, or International Workers’ Day, to join the thousands of protesters far and wide against Trump’s political policies and for all laborers and working class people.
Gathered in front of the CC-building, the protest was endorsed by Black Lives Matter at PCC, Centro CSO and The Third Wave Club. Joining Osterheim in chants, there were Black Lives Matter Los Angeles member Michael Williams and another member of the Students for a Democratic Society, Neil Lee.
“We live in a society where white people are up top and everyone else is below,” Williams said. “We need to find a way to establish how people of color, or anyone else marginalized, is just as equal and one with them.”
Williams spoke up for the black undocumented people from Haiti and Africa that are affected by Trump’s bans.
“Almost 50 thousands Haitians are being targeted to be deported by Donald Trump’s administration,” Williams said. “But those things don’t get a lot of attention. And then when we talk about sanctuary cities we also talk about sanctuary for black people against violence, against discrimination and everyday micro aggression that we get.”
“Legalization not deportation” and “No ICE, no Trump” were chanted throughout the quad by Lee, Williams, and SDS club member Lourdes Fuentes, and received small cheers from nearby peers. Most students walked by to take a glimpse of what was going on, but a permanent quad was never maintained.
Students for a Democratic Society started back in late February when the Spring semester started, with the intention of speaking up and being a voice for not only PCC democrats, but for anyone who seeks safety and support under the current political camaraderie.
“It’s very important that young people like us speak up now under a presidency like this, where people are literally in fear because of either their skin color or legal status,” Lee said. “It for sure starts here as college students to speak and make a difference.”
Students for a Democratic Society meets every Wednesday from 5:15 to 6 p.m. in the African American Heritage Room, on the second floor of the Shatford Library. On May 3 they will walk from their meeting to the Board of Trustees’s meeting at 6 p.m. in the Creveling Lounge, where Osterheim and other club members will address the Board’s lack of political action.