Student protesters in Chicago last week.
Student protesters in Chicago last week. Marie Kanger-Born / Shutterstock.com

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There's a lot of encouraging stuff in this report by Alex Seitz-Wald delving into the community organizing behind last Friday's shutdown of a Trump rally:

When Ja’Mal Green, a prominent black activist and Bernie Sanders supporter in Chicago, saw that Donald Trump was coming to the University of Illinois Chicago, he knew what he had to do. “Everyone, get your tickets to this. We’re all going in!!!! #‎SHUTITDOWN‬,” he posted on Facebook last week.

Little did he know they actually would shut it down.

Green and other student activists from the Black Students Union and Latino groups—the folks Trump has denigrated in his campaign—gathered by the hundreds to make plans ahead of the Trump rally. Even veterans of the Occupy movement got involved. When MoveOn.org heard what was going on, they chipped in with support. At the event, Secret Service agents expelled Green, but he said he "quickly changed into a friend’s hoodie and slid back in." Read the rest.

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Over the past few years, there's been much fretting by old liberals about today's campus left: They're stifling free speech; they're naive and unrealistic. These things are true in some cases and worth discussing. But they also tend to miss the bigger picture: This is a progressive generation more willing to take to the streets against injustice than any generation before it. That's something to applaud, not condemn.

Many of the protesters who shut down Trump were supporters of Bernie Sanders, but even if Sanders doesn't win the Democratic nomination, Seitz-Wald reports, "the anti-Trump showing in Chicago foreshadows a possible future avenue for his movement in the general election, in which Trump is the most likely Republican nominee." These students who are willing to go up against the Secret Service, risk arrest, and put their bodies on the line may be one of America's strongest defenses against fascism over the coming months.

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