SMU’s die-in and protests around the world

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At 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, about 30 SMU students and faculty gathered at the flagpole for Black Lives Matter: SMU Die-In and Protest.

Students of many races– black, white, Asian, Indian– joined in throughout the day for a peaceful protest.

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Photo credit: Courtney Cox

SMU senior and human rights major, Michelle Anderson, attended the die-in because she thinks this is an important issue SMU students should be talking about.

“It affects all of us as Americans. It doesn’t matter what race you are. Even though I’m not a black person, I think it’s important to be an ally,” Anderson said.

Tyrell Russell started off the event by talking about why the die-in was organized.

“We watched a man die on camera. So what do we do? We unite,” Russell said.

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Photo credit: Courtney Cox

While the protesters lay quietly on the ground, every so often people would get up and share a story about why these racial issues affect them.

Die-ins are becoming a trend after the Ferguson, Brown and Garner cases. In one of the world’s busiest train stations, Grand Central officials will not try to stop die-in protests.

“We recognize, of course, Grand Central is public space, open to everybody,” said Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metro Transit Authority. “None of the protests that have taken place so far have prevented our railroad customers from using the train station at the terminal for its primary purpose, which is getting to the trains.”

Protests have spread worldwide, according to Newsweek. The protests have spread to Tokyo. Demonstrators held up photos of the late Michael Brown, as well as signs reading, “Tokyo stands with Ferguson” and “America, the world is watching.” No arrests have been reported.

Protesters in Berkeley, Calif. smashed shop windows with skateboards and went on a looting spree on Saturday night before police moved in with tear gas to clear the crowds, arresting 13 people. On the subject of violent protests, President Obama has called for them to remain peaceful.

Though protests are never good because they mean people are upset, Obama said “As painful as these incidents are, we can’t equate what’s happening now with what was happening 50 years ago.”

“This is in response to police brutality. Like many universities and cities around the country, we’re going to do a die-in. We’re going to lay on the ground like dead, prostrate bodies,” SMU graduate student, Forrest Turner said.

Another aspect of the SMU protest was to take on Yik Yak, a social media avenue where posters remain anonymous.

Russell said, “We decided to infiltrate Yik Yak in a way. We constantly posted #BlackLivesMatter. That’s all it took for there to be an uproar. Where was all that anger before when people were being killed?”

Some students did not take kindly to this presence on Yik Yak.

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