At 11:30 am Thursday morning, more than 200 students streamed out of their classes chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace.” They gathered on Frist North Lawn, where they joined faculty and staff in demanding an end to racialized state violence. The protests were a response to the grand jury’s decision to not indict the officers who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
“Today we interrupt the daily routine of Princeton students, faculty and staff to draw attention to a national problem, a national disease, a plague that is American racism and racialized state violence,” senior Khallid Love said at the protest. Around him, several students held each other, crying.
Dressed in black with their hands raised, the protesters had a moment of silence in solidarity with demonstrations around the country. The protesters proceeded to conduct a 45 minute “die-in,” a form of non-violent demonstration in which participants lie down on the ground to simulate death.
Students’ bodies were sprawled all over Frist North Lawn, as well as the walkway and stairs leading into Frist Center. Many passerby, mostly students rushing to-and-from class, stopped to snap a picture and reflect on the scene. Several even joined in.
The protest was organized by student-activists who are part of a “Post-Ferguson at Princeton” movement and spread via social media.
Concluding the die-in, senior Joanna Anwanyu implored the crowd to “keep the conversation going, so we can dismantle racism.” A debrief discussion sponsored by the Carl Fields Center and Center for African American Studies was held after the protest. Earlier last week, shortly after the jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson, student demonstrators also marched down Prospect Avenue.
*This piece also appears in the Princeton Alumni Weekly blog.