This year’s “Million Student March” — scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 on college campuses across America — appears to have failed miserably because hardly anyone bothered to show up.
Organizers had hoped for a huge turnout.
“A new wave of activism against student debt is on the move again this week,” The Huffington Post giddily promised on Monday. “The students taking the lead represent the advance guard of an even more massive army which is mobilizing around the idea that higher education should be an investment we make as a society.”
However, the actual event fizzled.
On the campus of the recently-troubled University of Missouri, for example, a sparse gathering of about 15 students protested as part of the “Million Student March,” according to the Columbia Missourian.
Campus police warned the protesters that any disruptive demonstrators could be arrested or suspended from school. (RELATED: SURPRISE! Mizzou Sees Application Drop After Days Of Protests, Illusory Klan Hoods, Poop Swastika)
At the University of California, Los Angeles, approximately 20 demonstrators showed up for the “Million Student March,” according to the Daily Bruin.
The tiny contingent included students, alumni and UCLA employees. They chanted. They spoke about issues including mental health funding. One protester held a “Students for Bernie” sign.
Just over two dozen students showed up on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison — along with “a light police presence,” according to The Badger Herald.
“Get up, get down Madison is a union town,” the Wisconsin protesters chanted. They used bullhorns as they stood outside Bascom Hall, the university’s main administration building, trying — but apparently failing — to get Rebecca Blank, the chancellor, to notice.
At the University of Maine and Southern Maine Community College, handfuls of students appeared to protest, according to local ABC affiliate WMTC.
“What do we want? Free public college!” the 12 or so students who protested at Southern Maine Community College chanted. “When do we want it? Now!”
In-state tuition at the community college is $90 per credit hour.
The #MillionStudentMarch webpage explains that protest organizers teamed up this year “with Black Liberation Collective, the group behind the Mizzou Movement, to say ‘no’ to racism and student debt!”
“Students nationwide will be coming together to challenge the racism of Donald Trump and the corporate establishment,” the website explained.
The group had four demands: (1) “tuition-free public college,” (2) “cancellation of ALL student debt,” (3) “a $15 minimum wage for ALL campus workers” and (4) “divestment from private prisons by ALL colleges and universities.” (The capitalized words are part of the demands.)
On Facebook, 4,159 people had liked the “Million Student March” Facebook page as of late Wednesday night.