A group of Eastern Michigan University students protested against racial police violence, fueled by the recent Grand Jury decision in Furgeson, with a die-in demonstration and a march through several buildings on campus Monday afternoon.
The protest was lead by EMU student Darius Simpson, who is also president of the poetry society at EMU. Many of the members of poetry society participated in the protest, and they were joined by campus group leaders and members from all across campus.
Sharita Ward, president of EMU’s Detroit Does Well non-profit organization, and some of her fellow DDW members participated in the die-in demonstration and march because they believe racially-fueled police violence in the United States is an important issue for young people.
“We need to stand up for our rights and we have to make a movement,” Ward said. “EMU is a great campus, this isn’t about them. We just need to come together right now.”
Simpson shares Wards view that this issue is not about EMU’s campus or policies. He told the group of protesters before they began Monday that they are not asking for anything from EMU.
“This is a world thing. We need to educate some people,” he said to the crowd.
At noon, the protesters marched into the Student Center and proceeded with a 28-minute die-in demonstration to represent a statistic Simpson cited that says every 28 hours, a black person is killed by police or government officials in the United States.
A die in demonstration is when protesters lay on the ground in a public place to simulate people who have lost their lives.
After the 28-minute die-in demonstration, the protesters marched to Pray-Harrold, the Eastern Eateries and Welch Hall.
Simpson told the protesters that Monday’s demonstrations were designed to disrupt “business as usual,” in order to encourage people to stop turning a blind eye to their cause.
This protest was part of a series of secretly planned protests happening in the Ypsilanti-Ann Arbor area follow the Grand Jury decision to not bring any charges against the Furgeson police officer who killed Michael Brown.