Published On: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2017

Reed College protesters shut down finance office, demand school cut ties to Wells Fargo over their ‘racist ties’

Reed College in Portland, Oregon has placed no-contact orders against a group of student protesters after they harassed a staff member during an occupation of the university treasurer’s office and blocked the office’s employees from doing their jobs. The protesters forced the shut down of the finance office as the group, “Reedies Against Racism,” demand that the university divest from Wells Fargo because of what protesters allege are the banking company’s ties to private prisons, mass incarceration and the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

Students have occupied the university’s administrative building, Eliot Hall, for about 10 days now, occupying the hallways of Eliot Hall, the president’s office and the treasurer’s office.

Reed College President John Kroger said in an email sent to the university community on Oct. 27 that a group of student protesters entered the treasurer’s office on Oct. 26 and “verbally harassed a staff member” during their demonstration.

The agitators declined to leave the building, according to Kroger, occupying it that night and forcing the office to be closed the next day.

“We condemn this behavior. This conduct violates the principles of respectful dialogue upon which this community is based. Dissent is encouraged at Reed, but harassment is not,” Kroger said in his email, referring to the university’s dissent policy.

In a Facebook post, Reedies Against Racism denied it harrassed any staff members and said its demonstration was “a peaceful sit-in.”

Earlier this semester, “Reedies Against Racism” interrupted the lecture of a humanities class to protest a mandatory Western Civilization course it described as “really harmful.”

Reed is home to the most liberal student body of any college, according to The Princeton Review.

Here’s the claims of racism against Wells Fargo:

Wells Fargo funds the top three private prison operators in the U.S. These include CoreCivic and The GEO Group, which collectively control 85% of the U.S. private prison market. As of 2016, Wells Fargo has lent $65.4 million to CoreCivic, and is part of the syndicate of banks that has lent $450 million to The GEO Group.

Private prisons profit off of mass incarceration. Enabled by investments from banks like Wells Fargo, private prisons are incentivized to cut costs and maximize the number of inmates detained. This often leads to understaffing in prisons and basic food and medical needs not being met.

People of color are significantly overrepresented in the U.S. prison population, making up more than 60% of the people behind bars.

Wells Fargo has contributed $120M to finance the cost of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The controversial oil pipeline has been criticized for its expected environmental unsustainability and encroachment on indigenous lands and heritage sites.

Other universities, including Columbia University and the University of California system, have already divested from Wells Fargo. The city of Seattle has also divested and Portland is in the process of divesting. This year, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to divest from corporations altogether and will be fully divested by 2019.


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About the Author

- Brian C. Cole expanded his writing talents for Examiner.com. Politically Brian discovered the Libertarian Party and its commitment to free markets, free trade, social tolerance and non-intervention abroad. Currently, Brian serves as the Region 8 Representative to the Libertarian Party of Florida for Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. He also works as Vice-Chairman for the Libertarian Party of Hillsborough County. Passionate about rugby Brian became one of the players for the Tampa Bay Krewe Rugby and writes regularly about Florida rugby events. Brian is a huge music fan, preferring songs that utilize actual instruments over the computer-generated tracks that tend to dominate too many of the mainstream radio stations today. He updates fans on different music events, especially in the central Florida area.

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  1. Oregon’s Reed College amends Western Civ class after protests call it ‘Caucasoid’ and ‘Eurocentric’ | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] The group has made headlines for their rowdy protests, shutting the school down somewhat in November with their liberal fascist tactics, more HERE […]

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