Abolish Campus Police-CSU leads protest against campus police

Samantha Bravo, Assistant News Editor

On Thursday afternoon, students from various California State University campuses rallied at the Chicanx House at CSUN to demand that police be removed from CSU campuses.

The protest was organized by the Revolutionary Scholars, Youth Justice Coalition L.A., Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlande Cal State Los Angeles and Student for Quality Education and Abolish Campus Police-CSU, a newly-established group.

ACP-CSU unveiled their social media presence and their goal to dismantle police departments at each CSU campus via Instagram on Aug. 25.

Jorge, an ACP-CSU member and student at Cal State L.A., said the organization was formed over the summer after the death of George Floyd motivated students to share their own experiences with campus police.

“We kind of got together in these discussions and then from there, these discussions turned into formulating an actual group,” said Jorge, who only provided his first name for safety reasons. “It’s a collection of primarily working class students of color and first-generation children of immigrants who just came together.”

During the group discussion portion of the rally, students shared the experiences they had with the police and how much those encounters have impacted and traumatized them when they were younger.

Students share their experiences with their college police during a discussion organized by ACP-CSU on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. (Samantha Bravo)

Jorge shared his experience with having undocumented parents and his fear of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, worrying that at any moment his parents could be deported.

While many were able to speak, some had difficulties sharing their personal experiences as campus police have made them feel unsafe while being on campus.

After the group discussion, the groups marched to the CSUN police station to demand the removal of police from college campuses. There was no police presence at the protest.

“We’ve seen how the police interact with our communities in our neighborhoods and the connection between the police on our campus,” Jorge said. “It’s kind of anti-Black, and controlling the students, and creating an unsafe environment.”

Jorge said the group recently organized a group discussion via Zoom with Melina Abdullah, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter L.A., and a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State L.A., to discuss the history of campus police and policing in general.

“Change comes from taking the streets,” Jorge said. “This is the beginning of a bigger movement.”