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Election protest at Ole Miss escalates, 2 arrested

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012
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Some students and teachers used social media to condemn the conflict.

Ellen Meacham, an Ole Miss journalism instructor, posted on Facebook that "anyone who calls that a riot has never read or heard anything about 1962."

She was referring to when Meredith became the first black student to enroll at the university on Oct. 1, 1962. Federal authorities deployed more than 3,000 soldiers and more than 500 law enforcement officers to Oxford during the integration. An angry mob started an uprising that killed two white men. More than 200 people were injured. Ole Miss sponsored lectures and other events this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

"Now, 50 years later, about 2 percent of the overall student body goes out to protest when their guy doesn't win the presidency and a portion of that small percentage displays the ugly strain that still infects too many in our student body," Meacham wrote.

In a state with a 37 percent African-American population, Ole Miss now has a black enrollment of about 16.6 percent. The current student body president, Kim Dandridge, is the fourth black person elected to the post.

Jones said the campus was back to normal Wednesday.

The university was planning an event for Wednesday evening called the "We are One Mississippi Candlelight Walk" to condemn the protest, according to Thomas J. "Sparky" Reardon, vice chancellor for student affairs.

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Associated Press writer Emily Wagster Pettus contributed to this report.

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