EWU students hold Unity Rally in response to Neo Nazi posters on campus


Students gather at the Campus Mall to speak out against racist flyers posted around campus in 2018. The unity Rally was to show that EWU dopes not stand for hate and discrimination | Jeremy Burnham for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

Around 200 EWU students gathered at the campus mall on Feb. 27 for what organizers called a unity rally. The student-organized rally was in response to white supremacist propaganda that was found posted around campus on Feb. 18.

Kyle Carroll, ASEWU’s diversity outreach officer, was one of the rally’s organizers. He said students needed to speak out in response to the hate speech that was spread through the posters.

“This is a relatively new problem, we haven’t seen a resurgence of this in a while,” Carroll said. “But this type of thing needs to be responded to.”

The posters were put up by an organization called Identity Evropa. On its website, Identity Evropa says that its members “are a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history and civilization that flowed from the European continent.”

The organization promotes ending all immigration and is classified as a Hate Group by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Identity Evropa is known for spreading hate speech to college campuses, and The Gonzaga Bulletin, the school’s newspaper, reported that the group has posted similar posters on the Gonzaga campus.

Speakers at the rally included students and a school official. Dr. Shari Clarke, EWU’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, told the crowd that EWU is committed to being a school that serves a diverse population.

“You are important and you matter,” Clarke said. “I want you to take these words with you, and keep them with you as you go about doing right in society.”

EWU student Marixza Torres had a similar message.

“All of you here matter,” Torres said. “Seeing those flyers around my campus hurt me. Not because they were threatening me as a Mexican-American, but because they were threatening my peers.”

Clarke told The Easterner that the university welcomes people expressing themselves, but draws the line at hate speech.

“In a university setting, you get all kinds of people with all kinds of opinions and values,” said Clarke. “And everyone has the right to express themselves because we are a democracy and that’s what we do. However, hate speech, and any speech that is racist, we do not condone here.”

The EWU Police Department had three officers present, though the rally remained peaceful. The officers spent the majority of rally listening to the speakers and having conversations with attendees.