Pomona College reportedly paid for students to attend rallies protesting President-elect Donald Trump, and provided them with a phone number to call in the event of any arrests.
The school’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships wrote in a Facebook post on Nov. 11 that it would fund the transportation costs for 70 students to attend an “anti-hate rally” the next day in Los Angeles, reported the Claremont Independent.
“We are sponsoring a group of 70 students to go to the anti-hate rally in LA tomorrow morning!” the Facebook post read. “Please share with your communities—as of now, this is open for Pomona students only.”
The center directed interested students to fill out a form, by which they would obtain subsidized train passes to attend the downtown protest.
“One way this week we will be supporting students is providing Metrolink passes and a group to go to the United Against Hate March starting at MacArthur Park in LA on the morning of Saturday November 12th,” the signup form read.
As the Independent notes, the rally was explicitly anti-Trump.
Organizers billed the event as a chance to “unite to resist this vile and sexist demagogue… Only the people can put a stop to this. Let’s unite Los Angeles from day one to say, ‘Down with Trump!’”
The Draper Center is staffed and funded by Pomona College, a tax-exempt educational institution under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Under the tax code, Pomona is prohibited from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
A similar protest on Friday in Los Angeles resulted in 187 arrests.
Pomona was prepared for that contingency. The signup form included a phone number to reach an on-call dean “in event of arrest or other emergencies.”
In a section of the signup form titled “Things to Think about Before Hand” (sic), the college implores students to think about the actions they are willing to take at the demonstration.
“What are my boundaries/how far am I willing to go? (going in buildings, blocking freeways, arrest, etc?),” the form read.
“Discuss these questions with friends/groups you are walking with.”