A 9/11 Memorial At Occidental College Got Crushed And Dumped In The Trash
Occidental College is investigating an incident in which a 9/11 memorial was vandalized, reports the L.A. Times.
The memorial was staged on Saturday night by the Occidental College Republican Club in remembrance of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Students planted 2,997 American flags in a quad at the school's Eagle Rock campus, with each flag representing a victim.
In a Facebook post written on Sunday, the club said that around Sunday midnight their members discovered that all the flags had been stamped on and thrown in the garbage. The club also claims that the perpetrators had put up "posters and flyers up that shamed the victims of 9/11." A representative from the club told LAist via Facebook that the posters "were placed in inappropriate locations on the memorial" and "on top of our sign for the display."
The club posted up a picture of one of the fliers:
At 1 a.m., 15 students worked to put the flags back into the quad. After the incident, campus security and members of the club stood guard at the memorial. The club said that, later that morning, four students approached the memorial and committed another act of vandalism that resulted in "[hundreds] of flags kicked and smashed, and fifty or so back in the trash." Once again the club picked out the flags from the trash and put them back in the quad.
"Any time we've really tried to talk to them they run away," Max Woods, the club's vice president, told NBC 4. "We don't know them personally, but we do know that it's the same set of students doing it."
In another Facebook message posted on Sunday by a group called the Coalition at Oxy for Diversity and Equity, students said that the acts were done in protest.
For us, this flag is a symbol of institutionalized violence (genocide, rape, slavery, colonialism, etc.) against people of color, domestically as well as globally.
They added that:
This is not a critique of desiring to remember the fallen, this is a critique of failing to comprehend who, or what, has been lost. To this end, we wanted to provide more information and more context in order to center the actual lives and individuals affected by 9/11 rather than a simply placing a symbol of one nation.
It remains unclear if members of CODE were directly involved with the vandalism. When a Facebook user asked if the actions were carried out by a third party, the club simply responded with, "CODE supports the students that carried out this action." LAist reached out to a member of CODE for a statement, but we have not yet gotten a response.
Occidental College sent a message to students and faculty, saying that the incidents are under investigation, and encouraging any one with information to come forward. "Vandalism or other acts that substantially interfere with the rights of others to engage in protected speech violate the College's Student Code of Conduct and the spirit of this institution," Erica O'Neal, acting dean of students, said in the statement.