This post was written by Hatchet reporter Andrew Goudsward.
About 30 protesters lay silently on the Kogan Plaza pavement Tuesday, staging a “die-in” protest against the grand jury decision to not indict the white police officer who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. this summer.
Protesters held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “We mourn Mike Brown” for the event, which lasted four and a half hours to mark the amount of time Brown’s body had lain in the street after he was killed.
The demonstration, organized by more than 20 left-leaning student organizations, came more than a week after the grand jury decision, which set off riots in Ferguson and protests on campuses and in cities across the country.
“We’re frustrated. We’re angry. We want to show that Mike Brown’s death wasn’t in vain,” said protester Jade Graver, who read aloud a list of names of black Americans killed by police.
During the demonstration, organizers also read aloud a list of demands, such as creating a resource for students to report instances of racial bias or discrimination and allowing student to be involved in the selection of the next chief of the University Police Department. They also called for mandatory anti-bias training for all UPD officers.
UPD’s interim chief, Frank Demes, visited the protest and asked to set up a meeting between the department and student organizations to discuss policies going forward.
Allied in Pride, Fossil Free GW, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, the Black Student Union and the College Democrats, among others, co-sponsored the event.
Brady Forrest, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine and an SA senator, said it was important to show solidarity with Americans who struggle with injustice.
“I will never be left on a street for four and half hours, but I think its important to show support for the folks that are experiencing this,” he said.