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Student Organizing and Mutual Aid

In which Carls show up for justice in Minnesota, Palestine, Myanmar, India, and beyond.

In which Carls show up for justice in Minnesota, Palestine, Myanmar, India, and beyond.

There’s a lot of injustice and oppression coming to a head in the world as I’m writing.

If it’s emotionally too much for you right now, please close this post and go take care of yourself. I see you. Otherwise, please educate yourself by reading on:

The Israeli military is firing rockets at Palestinians; Myanmar is stifling ongoing resistance against a recent coup; India is severely mismanaging a deadly Covid outbreak; the Colombian government is responding violently to civilian protests. And right here in the US and Minnesota, police continue to murder Black people—as we witnessed in Brooklyn Center last month when an officer shot Daunte Wright—while the water-contaminating Line 3 pipeline is being built across stolen Indigenous land. State-sanctioned violence is killing people everywhere.

It’s painful and infuriating to watch so much suffering, especially for those who are part of families and communities who are personally affected. My heart goes out to all my fellow Carls who feel this pain acutely.

At the same time, I’m so proud of all my peers who are turning their pain into action.

A month ago, a group of Black first-year women responded to the killing of Daunte Wright by organizing a mutual aid drive for Brooklyn Center. In less than a week, they raised over 10,000 dollars through donations by the Carleton community!! This was a wake-up call: many (not all!!) Carleton students have wealth, and it is time to redistribute it.

Since then, there have been similar drives and events almost every week:

  • MOSAIC, Carleton’s South Asian student group, organized mutual aid to support those affected by Covid in India
  • WHOA, or Wellstone House of Organizing and Activism, held a bake sale to fund the fight against Line 3 in Northern Minnesota (and signed Carls up to go to the frontlines this summer!)
  • ASIA (Asian Students in America) and Mutual Aid Myanmar organized an art sale and a virtual rally to support resistance against the Myanmar coup

Most recently, I attended a Carleton/St. Olaf collaborative protest in solidarity with Palestine. It was powerful to see so many students coming out on a Saturday morning to demand justice and listen to their Palestinian peers speak.

I’m not writing this to say that Carleton is a perfect oppression-free utopia. It’s not. (You can read about the Ujamaa Collective‘s demands to address systemic racism on campus here.)

But I can say that I’m continually impressed by the ways that Carleton students show up for change, at home and abroad.

If you’re a prospective student who wants to be a student organizer in college, join us at Carleton! We want and need you here. If you need some convincing, just email me 🙂 In the meantime, power to you, wherever you are.

Greta is a sophomore and a proud Vermonter who loves the Minnesota prairie almost as much as the Green Mountains. She enjoys writing constantly, playing piano, and spending time outdoors. And eating lots of chocolate. She wants to learn everything, but she’s a major in Latin American Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. Meet the other bloggers!