- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2016

Hundreds of students at Portland State University staged a walkout and “die-in” this week to demand the disarming of campus police officers.

A video posted Thursday by Vidmax showed the protesters, reportedly part of the group Disarm PSU, proceeding to lay down in the middle of the street and blocking traffic in both directions, Campus Reform reported.

“The police are a tool of capitalism to control people in the state they are — staying in slavery, staying in poverty wages, staying in ridiculous working conditions,” one student protester said at the rally Tuesday.

“Police are notorious for mishandling sexual assault cases,” said another. “We all know that. They are often also rapists themselves.”

Sarah Iannarone, a candidate for Portland mayor, joined the demonstrators and promised that as mayor, she would work to sever the city’s relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies, Campus Reform reported.

“We need to decouple from ICE, we need to not partner with federal immigration, we need to not partner with the joint task force on terrorism,” she told the students. “If I am your next mayor I will actively decouple from these racist activities as well.”

Protesters chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets,” “Disarm PSU,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Disarm PSU has been pressuring the school to ban campus police from carrying guns since 2014, when the university’s board of trustees approved the policy.

Despite Tuesday’s protest, university spokesman Scott Gallagher said, “The board has no plans to revisit that decision.”

“While we support our students’ right to free speech,” he told The Oregonian, “the decision to create a sworn Portland State University police force was made by the board of trustees in 2014 after more than two years of study and debate with students, faculty, staff and the community.”

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