Education

They’re Back! Mizzou Protesters Are Active And Harassing Reporters Again

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Blake Neff Reporter
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#ConcernedStudent1950, the activist group driving recent protests at the University of Missouri (MU), made another major protest action Wednesday by disrupting a board of curators meeting, demanding the immediate reinstatement of disgraced professor Melissa Click and trying to stop reporters from covering their protest.

ConcernedStudent’s protest effort began outside with members of the groups chanting slogans and waving signs. Despite the very public nature of the protest, several members of the groups told a reporter for The Missourian to stop recording the event, and when he refused they formed a wall with their signs to block the reporter’s view.

Local reporter Mark Kim of KOMU News uploaded many videos of the protests to Twitter, including one of the confrontation between protesters and the Missourian reporter.

The protest quickly moved into MU’s alumni center and then into a meeting of the board of curators. There, the students disrupted the proceedings to read off demands they said had not yet been met by school officials.

The demands appear to be identical to those the group made last October, right down to a demand that University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe issue a written apology and hold a press conference acknowledging his white male privilege. Wolfe resigned in November, making the demand rather nonsensical, but protesters still read it off, either to protest its non-fulfillment or to simply demand that the school somehow make Wolfe hold his press conference.

Other demands from the group included increasing the number of black faculty members.

One of their chief concerns was for the board to revoke the suspension of communications professor Melissa Click, who was suspended in January after being hit with a misdemeanor assault charge for attacking a reporter trying to cover campus protests last November. Click soon cut a deal to avoid jail time, but her job is still in jeopardy.

Students claimed that it’s actually Click’s critics who are in the wrong for attacking her due to her behavior. (RELATED: Protesters Deem Melissa Click A Martyr For Civil Rights)

“Unlike that reporter, she understands how the First Amendment works,” one of them said, according to The Maneater. Others rattled off their own reasons for supporting Click.

“I stand for her because she makes sure that us [sic], as students, were protected and okay on a day to day basis,” said one student.

“We stand by Melissa Click because she refused to ignore the crimes [against] marginalized people on this campus,” said another.

After reading off their demands, the students returned to the alumni center’s lobby, only to return to the meeting a short time later to start reading off their demands again. According to the Columbia Missourian, board chairwoman Pam Henrickson twice tried to stop them by banging her gavel, but protest leader Kendrick Washington simply raised his voice and continued.

At least one curator said the disruption was no problem, though.

“I appreciate the opportunity to hear from these folks,” David Steelman told the Missourian. “I don’t consider that an interruption.”

Steelman may not have considered the stunt an interruption, but he also didn’t seem to consider it a cause for discussion. After protesters departed, the Missourian said, curators simply returned to discussing a recent financial report.

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