What: Human blockade of Macalester Administrative Building
Where: Weyerhaeuser Hall, Macalester College, 62 Macalester Street, St. Paul, MN
When: The blockade began Thursday at 7am, continuing an occupation that began Tuesday at 10am
Who: Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus, a coalition of Macalester students
At 7:00 this morning, 19 Macalester students sat down, physically blocking all five outside doors to Weyerhaeuser Hall, to protest the administration's continued refusal to move the College's business out of Wells Fargo. Students continue to demand that administrators cut the contract with Wells Fargo in response to the bank's negligent and immoral practices during the ongoing foreclosure crisis.
The occupation began on Tuesday morning directly outside President Brian Rosenberg's office before moving down to the ground floor of the building by Tuesday evening. The latest escalation comes in response to a continued refusal by both the President and the Provost to meet with students about the Wells Fargo contract.
"Students don't want to be a human blockade, but even more than that we don't want to be complicit in the epidemic of foreclosures sweeping our community," said Alisha Roopchand, one of the students blocking the doors. "President Rosenberg needs to show the kind of leadership we expect from Macalester College and meet with us to resolve this crisis."
Anyone inside the building is welcome to leave, but students are refusing to allow anyone entry into the building until the President meets with them in good faith and takes steps towards cutting Macalester's contract with Wells Fargo.
"President Rosenberg has gone to extraordinary lengths to dodge the Wells Fargo question. If the President can't swallow his pride and meet with us, then he can't expect the administration of Macalester to go about business as usual," said Liza Gorkova, another student blockading the building.
The campaign is run in solidarity with Occupy Homes MN's efforts to mobilize homeowners to defend homes from foreclosure by big banks like Wells Fargo. The group is also a member of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, a coalition that brings together faith, labor, and community groups who recognize that big banks stand in the way of every Minnesotan's well-being.
Last year, Macalester students joined the fight for housing justice in Minnesota by launching the campaign demanding the school cut its ties with Wells Fargo. Currently, Macalester College runs its purchasing card system through Wells Fargo. Students and administrators have been meeting for months to explore feasible banking alternatives, and have identified a community bank that reflects Macalester's values and can handle the school's business.
Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus is a coalition of Macalester College students dedicated to ending their school's relationship with Wells Fargo. The campaign is part of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and the national student group United Students Against Sweatshops.