Day 2 of the sit-in revealed numerous moments of solidarity from all quarters.
Teach-ins began this morning, as students took part in alternative forms of education. The first teach-in was conducted by Kevin Hsu (Urban Studies) who introduced students to “Taiwan’s Innovative Environmental Practices,” a meditation on how the island nation of 23 million became a country that is at once modern and traditional—at the forefront of technological innovation, but also avowedly ecological.
That morning, other instructors also relocated regular Stanford classes to show solidarity with the divestment movement, including the highly relevant “Multimedia Environmental Communication” (EARTHSYS292) class taught by Tom Hayden (Earth, Energy, Environmental Sciences) and Aishwary Kumar’s (History) dramatic exploration of “Gandhi in His Times and Ours (HISTORY196).
These regular Stanford classes complement the teach-ins targeted to students at the sit-in, providing a full slate of educational opportunities on the protest site. View the teach-in schedule here.
At noon, a number of participants attended the Rally to Uplift Student Voices Following Recent Attacks, organized by the Muslim Student Union at Stanford that responded to the violent and tragic events in Beirut, Baghdad, Paris, and elsewhere. Several Fossil Free Stanford participants expressed a desire to show solidarity with other campus movements against oppression.
Snacks in Solidarity
The lunch menu featured Sandwiches from Synergy (which surely ought to be the name of a café). Many campus co-ops are cooking meals for the protesters as an action of solidarity with the Fossil Fuel Divestment movement. Unexpectedly, local Palo Alto clergy and the Stanford Junior Class President also dropped off snacks, to be enjoyed by students during quiet moments.
Meanwhile, the schedule of teach-ins and classes-in-solidarity continued, ranging from “Sustainable Agriculture” (Patrick Archie, Michael Peñuelas, and Maria Deloso) to “Antigone and Social Dissent” (Rush Rehm of Classics).
Health officials from the Vaden Health Center also visited the encampment. They expressed concern for the students’ safety and well-being, and proceeded to hand out chap stick. “How did they know this is exactly what I needed?” organizer Yari Greaney exclaimed. The camp's neat rows of tents and sleeping bags also passed a Fire Marshal’s inspection, which deemed the camp ship-shape.
During the afternoon, the protesters received a paper warning from the University, demanding that they decamp and move to White Plaza or disperse. The camp leaders distributed the letter to participants so all would be aware of the Administration’s action.
That night, at a camp-wide meeting, the response was announced: “We will not be moving to White Plaza.”
Josh Lappen, a core organizer, explained the group’s decision, highlighting two key reasons:
“We are staying!” he declared, to general acclamation.
The Camp at Night
A final “anti-oppression training” closed the evening, where dozens of students took part in an exercise of historical introspection of the environmental movement. Facilitated by Charlie and Shane, the session examined how minority communities and social justice issues have often been marginalized by mainstream environmental organizations—and importantly, how we can do better to include those perspectives.
The camp settled in for a second night. While the group had been warned by Greaney that detention and arrest remained a possibility and how to prepare, the atmosphere remained buoyant. The sign at the corner of the quad seemed to capture the moment best: “Temperatures are rising … so are we.”