By. Jasmyn Brendle
On International Women’s Day, in front of the Japanese Garden, the Wall of Oppression was taken down by a group of students, taking a stand against the hate speech people experience on a daily basis. This project was created by assistant professor of philosophy, Natasha Liebig PH.D., as a way to have groups symbolize words and hate messages. It was made to symbolize that “we will not remain silent, we will stand up to hate speech, and we will be an advocate of inclusivity and an ally to groups targeted with hate speech,” according to professor Liebig before the wall was torn down. As more students gathered around the wall Friday, it was apparent how many students and faculty alike had been affected by these words painted on the bricks.
The chant “Tear Down the Wall” started before the countdown as students grabbed ropes tied to the bricks. There was an air of empowerment when the bricks hit the ground after the countdown. Liebig encouraged the crowd, after the wall had been pulled down, to take a piece of the broken bricks to symbolize how they could overcome the words that bring them down. Many students took entire bricks with them to class while others broke theirs into pieces.