Thousands rally against race incidents at university campus

November 15, 2018
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Drake University students and faculty gather at the Helmick Commons for a rally to encourage unity after racist robocalls and notes were left on campus, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thousands of students, staffers and others have rallied in protest of racist notes and robocalls at Drake University in Des Moines.

A police-estimated crowd of 3,500 cheered Wednesday when student speakers said racists aren’t welcome. Several people carried signs condemning the racist acts; others handed out blue buttons that read “Do Better.”

University officials say racist notes were left under the dorm doors of two minority students in the past week, warning them to leave. And officials report that about 250 Drake phones received 75-second robocalls Monday that said African-Americans should be “expelled” to Africa.

A university spokesman says police reports will be filed about the racist notes. Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek (puh-REE’-zihk) says the person or people responsible could be charged with harassment. Any students involved also could face university discipline.

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