College students in Connecticut participated in a nationwide "walkout" on Wednesday, protesting the election and policies of President-elect Donald Trump.
Hundreds of members of the Yale community walked out of class and chanted on Cross Campus at 3 p.m. They were participating in a nationwide walkout called the "Sanctuary Campus."
The walkout was to show support for the undocumented immigrant students and community members who they claim will be negatively affected by Trump's policies.
Multiple undocumented immigrants addressed the crowd and protestors chanted things such as "a people united can never be divided" and "say it loud say it clear immigrants are welcome here."
Organizers are asking Yale to become a sanctuary campus, which they said would mean the school would shield undocumented immigrants from law enforcement and possible deportation while on campus.
“It is not just about what happens on our campus. We want to show the American public that we will not let Trump normalize deportations and hate crimes against the communities his campaign targeted,” Ramon Garibaldo, who is a student at Yale University, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will affirm over and over again: this is not normal. This is cannot become normal.”
The scheduled walkout at Yale was “inspired” by the high school demonstrations held across the country last week. Yale joined more than 130 schools in the United States participating in demonstrations on Wednesday.
“Our colleges and universities, have a moral responsibility to ensure that all students and campus workers regardless of immigration status feel safe and protected in their campuses,” Carlos Rojas Rodriguez, who is an organizer with Movimiento Cosecha, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are asking our administrations what side they are on; that is what #SanctuaryCampus is all about.”
Organizer Ramon Valdez said it's important for students to come together now even before Trump is sworn into office.
"I think the tone he carried throughout his campaign from the very start was one of demonizing immigrants was one of fear hatred and we are already seeing all the consequence that has had even before he takes office," Valdez said.
Critics said these protests are pointless and ineffective, but organizers at Yale said they plan to hold rallies consistently through at least the next four years.
Wesleyan University students were also participating in the walkout on their campus. They said they want the Middletown campus to become a Sanctuary Campus.
The Wesleyan University students also demanded university officials address their concern. The students said they hope the university will help them in their efforts to create a safe environment for everyone.
"A lot of students are scared for their families especially with the rise of the Trump presidency and they want to make Wesleyan campus a sanctuary for other people because this is supposed to be our home away from home so we need to make it a safe space for everyone," Wesleyan student Makari Chung said.
"I'm a senator from my freshman class and I talk to President Roth often. He says he is really interested in making Wesleyan a sanctuary campus especially since there's been efforts in the schools around the area like Yale to make it a sanctuary campus and he realizes this is a safe space for a lot of people," Wesleyan student JanCarlos Pinaloes said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Wesleyan University for a reaction on the walkout. The station had not heard back from the university as of Wednesday evening.
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