San Diego, CA – The Cops Off Campus Coalition (COCC) organized a nationwide protest on May 3 to demand police be kicked off school campuses but it wasn’t very successful.
The event, named the “National Day of Refusal,” seemed to find success only in California where students skipped classes and protested on multiple campuses in various major cities.
COCC circulated a petition ahead of the protest that asked students and faculty to pledge to be absent “from work, class, teaching, and more” on May 3, Campus Reform reported.
Signers of the petition promised they were “canceling/refusing to attend synchronous classes, refusing to watch asynchronous lectures, refusing to engage in any form of university-based labor (including email response), refusing to prepare materials (such as a class recording) for later asynchronous use, protecting students, colleagues, and workers from retaliation, and more.”
“As a member of a campus community, I am horrified that—amidst a global pandemic, relentless state and vigilante violence against Black, brown, and Indigenous people, and national calls for abolition—schools across North America have committed to increasing police budgets,” signers pledged. “College police forces are increasingly militarized, and I support the nationwide call to demand cops off our campus to make our university truly safe and free for all, and I will not cross the picket line.”
The petition demanded the removal of all police from all school campuses, public or private, from Kindergarten through college.
COCC also demanded “the land back” and investments in community safety and education, according to the petition.
The group took their purpose even further and demanded “an end to policing everywhere” buried in the fourth paragraph of the petition.
Abolition May begins today with a Day of Refusal across Turtle Island. No work. No school. No business as usual. No cops. Simple as that. pic.twitter.com/wGQbbfiZTc
— SA Smythe (@essaysmythe) May 3, 2021
The protest met with some success on larger California campuses.
— Cops Off Campus – #AbolitionMay (@ucftp) May 3, 2021
we did NOT refuse to make tshirts pic.twitter.com/1VSp7UylDw
— Cops Off Campus – #AbolitionMay (@ucftp) May 4, 2021
Students did sit-ins to block other students and faculty from traversing paths across California college campuses and set up projectors to continue their message after actual protesters had gone home.
Cities where protests did not materialize also set up projectors to make it looks as if a demonstration had actually occurred.
Abolition from coast to coast. Xoxo pic.twitter.com/TRkKgNknTC
— Cops Off Campus – #AbolitionMay (@ucftp) May 5, 2021
Get ready for Maybolition! Abolition May is a month-long series of actions on campuses across the U.S. to demand the removal of campus police. Abolition May begins with a call for a national day of refusal on May 3rd; withdraw your labor in the manner you prefer! pic.twitter.com/8CVPDavIDz
— UC Davis #CopsOffCampus (@UCDavis_COC) March 19, 2021
On some campus, students have scheduled a variety of protests throughout the month of May.