Danger Collective is celebrating its first successful rally. On April 18th around 6PM a crowd gathered outside Anderson Hall to hear several survivors and community members speak out against fraternity sexual violence and rape culture. We heard about creating safer communities for justice without police, and about the many transgressions committed by UMN Greek Life, including many powerful stories from survivors of Greek sexual violence and resulting persecution. Loudly chanting, “Sexist Racist Anti-Gay! Time for frats to go away” and “Frat Boys/ Stop Raping People,” the group marched down the Washington Avenue Bridge where dates of Greek sexual assaults were chalked. Finally, the group stopped and continued chanting at the East Bank edge of the bridge, waiting for the Walk-A-Mile attendees to pass on the bridge. Instead of facing the protestors and their calls for accountability, the Greeks rerouted (even though we were not blocking their route down the south side of the bridge and had no intention of doing so, which undercover police and OFSL staff can confirm) and were tailed by our group. As per usual, they used the tactic of avoidance instead of facing the discomfort of accountability, which is a solid metaphor for their entire approach towards handling sexual violence. Our group met the walkers at Northrop where they continued chanting until two amazing survivors spoke about their experiences with sexual violence and community backlash by Greeks.
We ask Greek members who attended the rally to consider the vitriol and criticism a survivor must face upon coming forward and ask them to show some empathy for the demonstrators who are fed up with their lip-service thus far. There has been no accountability and no widespread owning of the problem in the Greek Community, which leads us to question their motives. The last question asked of the two survivors was, “What is the Greek community doing well, and should continue doing?” It is our position that this is the wrong question to ask—and the fact that Greek leaders would ask this question tonight—in front of survivors assaulted and defamed by Greek members—paints a clear picture of their attitude towards sexual violence. Whereas to us, sexual violence is a public health issue, a public safety issue, and a moral issue, it seems like the Greeks primary interest in sexual violence is as a public relations issue. We mourn with survivors in attendance who were triggered and upset by our action, it was not our intention to discomfort you. We want you to know that we will continue to stand up to perpetrators of sexual violence and perpetrators of rape culture, and push for real accountability instead of publicity stunts. We must all recognize that silence and inaction supports only the perpetrators among us.
Yesterday, the Greeks gathered—for one night, on one day, during one month out of the year. Today, we continue to fight back, to gather, to organize, to march, only we will not march in circles for public relations and philanthropy. The Danger Collective intends to push forward for a just future.
Thank you to the wonderful people who came out and rallied with us. Your energy was incredible! We are so grateful for the show of support and we hope to see you in the future. We also welcome you to organize alongside us and with us.
Love and solidarity,