Activists celebrate Wolfe’s resignation at Concerned Student 1950 campsite
Tensions between protesters and media grew as the number of people in the quad grew.
Nov. 09, 2015
Maneater reporters were live from Carnahan Quad when UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation. Concerned Student 1950 activists, Concerned Faculty members and graduate student faculty were already gathered for a “teach-in” demonstration as part of the faculty walk-out, but the assembly turned from a protest to a celebration before it even began. Read our timeline of the activists’ reactions to the announcement below.
10 a.m.: A crowd began convening at Carnahan Quad, just uphill from the campsite for a graduate student walk out and a “teach-in” held by faculty. Students and faculty planned to sit throughout the day to respond to student questions about the situation. The atmosphere was fairly calm and the group was a mix of reporters, activists and graduate students, many of whom wore their red shirts. They began dragging tables out in a circle.
“Everybody, let’s show them how much we’re not working!” one faculty member said.
The faculty present held briefcases containing classwork that would remain unattended to.
10:10: The crowd swelled to a few hundred and activists were becoming tense. They repeatedly raised their voices to tell those assembled not to speak to media without Concerned Student 1950’s consent. Reporters were told to move to the top of the hill. One activist grabbed at the Maneater reporter’s arm while telling all media to relocate, but quickly removed her hand and walked away.
10:15: Activists began cheering and hugging each other and the crowd joined in. A nearby graduate student, clapping, turned to her friend and said, “Do we have a reason, or are we just cheering?”
As people checked their phones and realized that Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, the cheering became more confident. The celebration eventually died down, and graduate students were still standing among the tables, happy but confused.
“Should we keep going?” one graduate student asked another.
10:20: One of the original eleven members of Concerned Student 1950 hopped up on a table to address the crowd. She expressed joy, but said this wasn’t the end for Concerned Student 1950.
“This is a movement, not a moment,” she said, and activists standing behind the tables cheered.
She said the “other ten” were coming to the campsite, and again reminded students not to talk to media.
10:25: Protesters cheered, chanted and sang. Missouri Students Association President Payton Head briefly lead the group in song. Media camerapeople and photographers surrounded the huddle the the point where we could barely see the activists inside. The celebration continued for some time.
10:30: The crowd did not shrink, but swelled as people came down to see how the activists were reacting. People emerged from Cornell Hall and stood on the steps, watching.
10:35: Tensions began escalating between reporters and activists. A circle formed around the campsite with the apparent intention of blocking out reporters. As more people joined, the circle grew, pushing reporters and onlookers farther and farther back.
A photographer approached the circle and tried to make his way through, and an activist shouted, “Do not let this man though!” He became angry and told them he was “just trying to do his job” and asked them to share his story.
Another photographer approached and was blocked. He stepped back and told them he would “just go above,” and held his camera aloft on a tripod, but two activists put their hands over his camera. He threatened to sue. In trying to block him, one activist touched both him and the camera several times.
10:40: The crowd of media became more dense as protesters rejoiced. Some reporters stood on the tiger statue at Tiger Plaza. Professors and graduate students who arrived for the teach-in continued to hold banners in support of the ongoing efforts of the protesters.
NEVER underestimate the power of students. Our voices WILL be heard.— Payton Head (@MSAPresident) November 9, 2015
Draya says they want us to stop fighting, we can't stop fighting #ConcernedStudent1950— Steven Thrasher (@thrasherxy) November 9, 2015
11:20: The protesters remained by the campsite and led a chant. The protesters were encircled by a ring of supporters in an effort to demonstrate solidarity with the actions carried out by concerned student 1950, and block out the omnipresent media.
A second ring of people began to form, as the protesters requested more privacy. The second ring formed, creating a curtain of support for the protesters who briefly absolved into silence as they prayed, not only the victories of the present, but for strength for battles yet to come.
MU Students, black and white, linking arms. pic.twitter.com/wFWMpOoYAe— Aaron K. Ladd (@aaronladd0) November 9, 2015
Students singing WE SHALL OVERCOME SOMEDAY pic.twitter.com/6RN6VZSHnq— Steven Thrasher (@thrasherxy) November 9, 2015
11:30: Professors began passing out water bottles to the crowd as the morning began to dissolve into the afternoon. People stormed onto the campsite scene and began singing in celebration. Tents were dismantled, officially ending the Concerned Student 1950 campout.
11:40: Cellphone speakers played music and food was set out on tables, ending more than a week of hunger for change.