USG eBoard may attend Black Lives Matter rally

Benjamin Joe, Online Editor

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NOTE: A prior version of this story mistakenly misprinted the email address of Rachel Orton. Also the rally will not extend to 10 p.m. as previously stated. The author apolotizes for the mistake.

 

BlackLivesMatter will be holding a rally on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 at 341 Delaware Ave. at 6 p.m. The rally will be against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his support of “stop and frisk” policies, according to BlackLivesMatter representative Rachel Orton.

While the group is currently off-campus and would like to stay that way, students from SUNY Buffalo State will be bussed in from Cleveland Circle to the event. Depending on how many trips will be made, the rally could extend past 7 p.m.

Interested parties can contact the group at ortonrn01@mail.buffalostate.edu. To qualify for the bus ride, participants must give their full name, phone number and a good email to reach them at. In return, the group will send them all the information for the rally by text.

Orton, who majors in Fibers and minors in African and African American Studies, first became involved through a friend who wanted to host a rally to focus attention on the murder of Alton Sterling by police officers early in July.

“That sparked a lot of attention. There was media coverage, and two members who were trying to bring a BlackLivesMatter chapter here attended the rally, and that’s when we kind of formed as a larger unit,” Orton said. “For now, we want to keep it an off-campus organization because we have a large population of students at Buffalo State that come from the New York City area, and while we do want to involve them in issues that are going around in Buffalo, we kind of want to peak that involvement by having off-campus rallies and events to bring those students, and once we gauge their involvement level then we may decide to bring the organization to campus.”

Despite this stance, United Students Government senators and administrative vice presidents were very interested in a BlackLivesMatter rally the night of the USG weekly meeting, Tuesdays at 8:45 p.m.

“We plan on going but we’ve not come to a definite conclusion yet, we still have to check out some AVPs and stuff like that, but for now it sounds like a pretty good thing to be involved with so we’re looking into actually going,” USG Vice President Iddriss Abass said after being asked about the rally and its purpose; to end “stop and frisk” forever. “For right now, it’s already being made illegal in New York State. It’s all about just making a stance and making your voice heard not only by social media, but actually going out and voicing it.

“Hopefully, the media picks it up because that’s the only way, not the only, but one of the most effective ways to get change to happen. Actually going out there and taking a stance.”

“I work for Channel 4,” said Nikita Singh, administrative vice president of public relations. “Last weekend we covered a story about a guy who had a noose outside of his house. So that was the first time I saw the real Buffalo Caucasian people advocating for BlackLivesMatter… it shows African Americans that not all Buffalo Caucasian people are bad.”

Orton would describe this particular chapter to be a grass-roots organization.

“We do a lot of work behind the scene just to put on a good event,” Orton said. “People who come to our rallies or our meetings may not see all the hard work that’s been put down, but that’s the point. We get people to come to our events, our meetings and they will decide whether they want to put in the hard work.”

BlackLivesMatter meetings are located downtown at the Family Life Center, 833 Michigan Ave.

email:joe.record@outlook.com

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