Nearly 50 protestors marched from Bearkat Plaza to the Walker County Courthouse on Monday to protest recent grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York – actions they consider legal defense of police brutality.
Leaders of the march said it was not only about protesting but also unifying the campus.
“That was the most important thing for us,” Georgiana Reefer, sophomore political science major and protest leader, said. “To focus on optimism, positivity and to also make sure that everybody felt included because we do want to enforce and refresh the unity on our campus. We want to make sure that everybody comes together and everyone feels welcome.”
Marchers chanted “Mike Brown didn’t need to die, we all know the reason why, the whole system is guilty,” “let me be, I can’t breathe,” and “hands up, don’t shoot.”
They were protesting the lack of grand jury indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two black individuals who died at the hands of police officers. Neither of the officers in those cases were charged.
“The lack of indictments in these police brutality cases is appalling,” mass communication senior Eugene Reid Jr. said. “It’s important to understand that all lives matter.”
The protest started around 4:45 p.m. and worked its way around the Sam Houston State University campus and city of Huntsville. The group marched back to campus, marching through Old Main Market and the Lowman Student Center.
The group prayed, sang and took part in a moment of silence while at the courthouse and drew witnesses from around the community, including Huntsville citizen Doris Cooper.
Cooper said while expressing first amendment rights is good, the issue is bigger than marching.
“I think that it is good that young college students would stand up and protest concerning the incidents that happened lately in Ferguson and in New York,” Cooper said. “I come from the 1960s when we protest civil right movements, so it is good to see young people are standing up and taking an active part in protest, but they also need to know it is very important to vote. That makes the difference.”
The protest was made up of students but eventually included members of the community after Huntsville retirees Dianne Meyers and Dorothy Willett joined in the march back to campus.
Once back on campus around 5:50 p.m., the group concluded in prayer.
“Today’s march, this was only the beginning,” Angelique Price, political science and mass communication sophomore, said. “I was excited to see the turnout even though I felt like more people should have been here because this is not only just a race issue, it’s an issue with the whole legal system. It was nice to see the people that came out, but the best is yet to come.”
Another march is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Follow the Houstonian for more information as events unfold.
There is one comment
Great coverage! Keep up the good work. I will definitely be there this Thursday!