For weeks now, far-right preachers have carried a message of hate to Salem State University’s campus, against queer and trans students, staff and faculty… against those who need abortions and gender healthcare… against those who are Muslim, Jewish and follow many other beliefs. But how do we stop them?
Who are the bigots?
- “Magnifying Christ Ministries” is a registered religious nonprofit led by Chike Uzuegbunam. For the past two years, he has gone up and down the East Coast seeking to promote a bigoted, fundamentalist vision against reproductive healthcare (including abortion), gender liberation, and more.
- Chike Uzuegbunam received an undisclosed settlement for successfully suing Georgia Gwinnett College in 2016. Since then he has become a darling of the Christian far right.
- This isn’t about preaching “Christian love.” He and his group have regularly harassed people outside Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics. Over 3,300 obstructions of abortion clinics occurred in 2019. Since 1993, 11 people have been murdered by anti-abortion zealots.
- This isn’t about free speech. His message emboldens others who will attack our community and make us all less safe. Hate crimes follow rhetoric, even where the speaker themselves hasn’t called for violence.
The administration is no ally. We need unity to organize against bigotry
- The administration fears a lawsuit from Chike more than it wants to protect queer students, staff who may need abortions, and faculty who have many different beliefs. So, it protects Chike, says its hands are tied, and does more to protect the bigots than their actual community.
- The administration claims they care about free speech. In fact, they are already more than willing to limit free speech — from requiring “stamps” to put up student flyers to banning boomboxes and bullhorns when we’ve tried to drown out the preacher. Their new 72-hour restriction represses students even more.
- We can’t rely on the administration. We shouldn’t fall into their game of working with them and focusing on “healing spaces” to deflect campus anger. Instead, we need to mobilize en masse every time the preachers try to show their faces on campus.
- The Salem State University students from the Boston Revolutionary Socialists propose:
- Build a rapid response alert system! Join our Discord server so we can mobilize each and every time, whether we face the preachers or hate crimes on campus. Join our organizing meetings Tuesdays @ 6.
- The administration must stop protecting the bigots! The university cops form lines and face down us, and not the real danger to campus: the bigots. Let us confront, counter-protest, and drown out the bigots. Reverse the 72-hour event restriction and poster policies that repress student organizing.
- Get organized! We need every community member and organization, on and off campus, to organize against the bigots. We all have a stake in this fight, and we need a united front of solidarity.