Faculty Voices from the Resistance
The multiple editorial voicesin this issue of the Faculty Newsletter reflect some of the heightened concerns being expressed by faculty members responding to the new administration in Washington. Many of our colleagues perceive serious threats to strongly held democratic values, programs, and policies. Four pieces follow: Voices from the rally in Copley Square (below); Call from more than 40 faculty, "Do We Act Now?"; Statement by the HASTS steering committee; and "Destabilization From Modernizing Nuclear Weapons Capabilities?"
"I first learned about the planned Copley Square rally of January 29 the previous afternoon, as the immediate enforcement and chaos of the executive order was becoming clear. I had already been planning on going. The morning of January 29 I learned of the noontime MIT rally in Lobby 7 via Krishna Rajagopal’s email to the entire faculty of the Institute. I came for that rally and walked with everyone to Copley Square. This was among the most moving rallies I have attended in recent memory. I was close enough to hear the moving and inspiring speeches given by several of our political leaders, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and MIT alum/Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem Mazen. The event gave me inspiration and hope for the work ahead of us of defending our values in the weeks, months, and years to come."
"I headed towards Copley Square filled with anger at the racist, xenophobic, misogynist, islamophobic, transphobic, ableist, anti-Black, anti-science positions and policies of this administration. I was glad that a protest response was organized so quickly, but to be honest, after the huge turnout for the Women's March the previous weekend, I was secretly skeptical about whether non-Muslim Bostonians would turn out en masse. As I walked through the Boston Common, though, I noticed more and more people carrying signs, obviously headed to the protest as well. My rage began to shift towards a shared sense of collective strength and power in solidarity, best expressed by one of the day's protest chants: 'Immigrant rights are under attack! You've got my back? (We've got your back!)' Copley was full, and the political speeches from the church steps were nice, but the highlight for me took place elsewhere: on the edge of Copley Square near the fountain, a group of a thousand people led by high-school age immigrant youth sang, chanted, and danced. When the official rally was done, these youth shouted out 'Whose Streets?' and the crowd roared 'Our Streets!' Then, several hundred of us marched into the street, up towards the Common, in an unpermitted street protest led by immigrant youth. We ended at the State House, where one after another young people directly affected by different aspects of this administration spoke out. To see young people angry, ready to protest, but also full of love and solidarity for one another across lines of difference, left me feeling like the future is in good hands."
"I went to the January 29 Copley Square Immigration rally. I was not initially planning to cross the bridge with the group of students who departed from MIT, only to offer my support at their gathering in Building 7 at noon. But I’m glad I did. There are few things as energizing as a crowd coming together for a peaceful public protest and a good cause."
"I was alarmed and disturbed by the President’s travel ban, so I very much wanted to register my protest against it. Thanks to social media and the emails from the MIT administration I heard about the rally at Copley Square, and joined thousands of others there. It was heartening to see so many people turn out at such short notice, just a week after the Women’s March."