Howard University (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

The People’s Organization For Progress (POP) expresses its solidarity with students at Howard University in Washington, DC that have held a sit-in for twenty days to protest living conditions in the dormitories there.

They are protesting mold, mice, roaches, rats and flooding in the dormitories. They are also protesting inadequate WiFi service and other conditions on campus. These conditions are unacceptable and POP calls upon the university to correct them immediately.

Their sit-in at the Blackburn University Center is being called the #BlackburnTakeover. It is led by young black women. The protest has received national media attention and support from well known civil rights leaders and activists.

The whole world is watching the protest at Howard University. And in New Jersey we are watching and we support the student protest at Howard University.

First and foremost POP asks the Howard University administration not to engage in any further retaliatory action against students that have participated in or supported the sit-in and student protests, and to rescind any disciplinary actions or sanctions that have been taken against students thus far.

We call upon the Howard University not to engage in any legal or administrative action against students, faculty, and staff for participation in or support of the sit-in and protests. POP demands complete and total amnesty for the sit-in participants and all student protestors at Howard University.

The demands of the sit-in participants to improve living conditions in the dormitories are not unreasonable. As the students have said “the demands are not demanding.”

POP supports the protestors demands. The students demands include a corrective housing plan, an in-person town hall meeting with the university’s president, the reinstatement of student and alumni positions on the university’s board of trustees, and amnesty for the sit-in participants, protestors, and their leaders.

POP calls upon Howard University president Wayne A.I. Frederick to de-escalate the situation and stop stonewalling. We call upon him to immediately meet with the sit-in leaders in-person. We call upon him to start negotiations with them immediately and to implement their demands.

Howard University is located near the national monument to Dr Martin Luther King. The university administration should not punish its students when they uphold the Civil Rights Movement traditions of speaking truth to power and protesting injustice.

Nov. 1 was Black Solidarity Day. In recognition of this historically important day the sit-in participants and protestors at Howard have issued a call for support . POP urges people throughout the nation to answer this call and support their protest in every way possible

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