Editor’s Note: This article features brief profanity. 

By Connor Bell

The International Socialist Organization met in Jimenez Hall Thursday night to express their discontent with current issues in the United States as well as possible solutions to these problems.

These issues revolved around Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency and his recent executive order to ban immigrants from seven different countries. In response to this, sophomore ISO member Brendan Sullivan started off the meeting with an emphatic speech that called out President Trump on all he has done thus far in his short term as president, “In the past thirteen days we’ve seen freezes on new regulations … gag orders on federal employees, bans on new climate research, not to mention the ban on people from Muslim countries, and of course the fucking wall.”

Sullivan continued to name issues outside of Trump that existed before he took office, like the Dakota Access Pipeline that has been stalled in Standing Rock Indian Reservation. However, Sullivan did not just list Trump’s actions people in the organization had opposition with, he talked about a very important thing: the fact that so many people were willing to stand up to his new executive orders through protests and demonstrations.

This multitude of people protesting Trump’s actions were evident in this meeting as every seat in the classroom was filled, and extra chairs were even brought in to sit the people who came into the meeting later in the night.       

After Sullivan’s speech, the floor was opened up for people to voice their own opinion on hatred in the world relating to anything in today’s society. While Trump and the Muslim ban were consistent topics, solidarity was the key thing to take away from this discussion.

Students like Ronald Lyles expressed that even though people within ISO or anywhere in the world might have different kinds of views, the message of solidarity connects us all, “look at this, people of all races, we are making a difference, even if you and I might stand on opposing beliefs, we’re still here, and we’re still discussing solidarity and that’s all that matters to me.”       

This message of solidarity is not just limited to students, but Maryland faculty as well. Special Collections Librarian for Labor Studies Ben Blake, who works in Hornbake Library, attended ISO’s meeting to support the students and their cause.

“I think it is important for faculty to support the student activism today,” Blake said. “I owe my job to the labor movement, they basically pay a big part of my salary and I feel it’s important to give back to the movements.”    

ISO will need Blake’s support and many more students’ as well, as the group continues to fight for socialism, workers’ power, revolution, internationalism and full equality with liberation according to their website under the “Where We Stand” tab.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of teakwood’s Flickr account.

Connor Bell is a junior journalism major and can be reached at cbell56@terpmail.umd.edu.

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