Northwestern University Students Shut Down ICE Agent on Campus

May 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Tuesday, May 16, an official with the Trump/Pence regime’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency was shut down by righteous student protesters at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago. The ICE agent had been invited to speak at a sociology class to “answer questions so that [students] know what’s going on,” in the words of the professor teaching the class. According to The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper, the protesters walked into Harris Hall, where the class was being held, chanting “Fuck ICE” and holding banners saying “No More Deportations.” Campus administrators tried to stop them, but the protesters marched into the classroom, and they asked the teacher “why she invited the ICE representative and if she had considered the possible effect the visit may have on undocumented students or students who know someone who has been detained by the federal agency.”

The ICE official was forced to leave, and the class was cancelled. An official from the Justice Department—headed by the white supremacist Attorney General Sessions—had also been scheduled to speak. The university president and provost released a statement the next day attacking the protest, saying, “The behavior of our students in this protest was disrespectful, inappropriate and contrary to the values of the University.”

This is a shameful, unacceptable position on the part of the university. One of the protest organizers, April Navarro of MEChA de Northwestern, had a sharp answer when she told The Daily Northwestern, “We’re not interested in having those types of conversations that would be like, ‘Oh, let’s listen to their side of it’ because that’s making them passive rule-followers rather than active proponents of violence. We’re not engaging in those kinds of things; it legitimizes ICE’s violence, it makes Northwestern complicit in this. There’s an unequal power balance that happens when you deal with state apparatuses.”

ICE, and the Trump/Pence regime as a whole, is carrying out a fascist campaign of terror against millions of undocumented immigrants—labeling them as “criminals” that need to be hunted down, thrown into detention camps without any rights, and deported across the border. Families are being torn apart as children see their parents dragged away. This is NOT a time for students and others to politely listen to spokespeople for this regime and other fascist speakers, but to wage fierce and determined protest against them. What the students at Northwestern did was entirely just and necessary—and everyone on the campus, and outside the campus, should support them and oppose any attempt by the university to punish them.



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