Hamilton Students Drop Dead Serious About Changing the Justice System
Students at Hamilton College are drop dead serious about changing the justice system.
Protesting the no-indict decision in Ferguson, Missouri, students have organized a walk-out, die-in this afternoon.
Beginning at 2:00pm students will walk out of their classes and congregate in the center of the campus. Naomi Tsegaye, one of the organizers, says about twenty minutes later they will "...drop to the ground and lay there in solidarity for young men of color who have been murdered by police."
Tsegaye is a junior from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She says they hope to send a message to the college, community, and world that America's foundation is broken, and the justice system needs to be fixed.
The 20-year old sociology student minoring in government and jurisprudence says she organized the event with another student, Joette Joseph, after the two were upset by events unravelling in Ferguson, Missouri while they were with family during the holidays.
The results of the protest, Tsegaye acknowledges, will not be immediate. She believes, however, that it will be a step forward toward creating a world that is better for her children, where justice is not dependent on color or class. It is a world that she thought already existed, especially within the Hamilton College campus community.
Hamilton College officials are aware of the protest and say that they do not expect it to be anything but peaceful.
Nancy Thompson, Dean of Students at Hamilton College, released a statement that reads as follows:
"I think we can say that today's "die-in" is one of the many ways in which the dialogue of our community's feelings and reactions continues to be demonstrated...
"... my hope [is] that this difficult moment in our nation’s history will motivate us to come together as a community. A community founded on learning and the exchange of ideas is, perhaps, one of the best forums in which to process what occurred in Ferguson. Classrooms, the Days-Massolo Center, the Counseling Center, the Dean of Students Office, and residence halls are places where these conversations about Ferguson and our current cultural moment can happen. With the grand jury’s decision, we have an opportunity to engage in an important dialogue about race, racism and privilege in the United States."
WIBX is on the scene of the protest and will provide additional coverage later today.