A newly formed student coalition, Jews Against White Supremacy, will host a walkout on Friday, April 20 with a number of other student activist groups. The walkout is against gun violence and white supremacy, and it correlates with the National School Walkout that is also scheduled for that day.
April 20 is also Adolf Hitler’s birthday and is “a day white supremacists celebrate,” according to a press release from JAWS.
The walkout will be held at 10 a.m. at the EMU and will include student speakers affected by white supremacy and gun violence.
In addition to organizing the walkout, the JAWS is asking that University of Oregon ban white nationalist Jimmy Marr from campus. Marr parked a van painted with swastikas near the EMU on April 20 last year.
On April 3, JAWS met with University of Oregon President Michael Schill and Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reed about concerns of white supremacy on campus.
They asked if Marr’s presence last year violated campus policy regarding discrimination. Reed said those policies apply only to the students, staff and faculty of UO. Marr has not been banned from campus since the meeting.
JAWS also asked the administrators they met with to investigate if Marr’s presence last year violated campus policy regarding discrimination. Reed informed them that UO speech policies apply only to the students, staff and faculty of UO and that Marr’s actions did not violate the first amendment either.
After meeting with the students, Reed sent them a statement in which he further explained his decision. The statement explained that while Reed understands JAWS view, he could not ignore the decades of legal precedent that universities do not ban words or ideas by members of the public in public spaces.
This post has been updated to clarify that Marr’s presence didn’t violate the first amendment and further explain the Reed’s decision