Cleveland State University Students Speak Out Against Police Brutality

December 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a Cleveland State University student:

On Thursday, December 11, Cleveland State University students participated in a “die-in” in response to the recent police killings of Eric Gardner and Michael Brown, as well as those of local Clevelanders Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson. The event, organized by the Black Student Union at CSU, involved several other student organizations including Students for Justice in Palestine, Progressive Student Action, Student Socialist Society, and Latinos United.

At noon, approximately 30 students, clad in black, entered the student center where they joined a number of local activists. As a banner with the names of victims of police murder was unveiled from the second story, a voice shouted out “I can’t breathe!” at which point several students fell and lay on the floor. A second call of “hands up, don’t shoot” went out, causing a number of other students to join those already on the ground. Calls echoing the many victims of police violence continued until 40 students and activists lay on the ground, at which point a professor from CSU’s Black Studies department began to read names of victims of police brutality.

Crowds gathered on the various levels of the student center as names of the oppressed echoed throughout the building. Some students watching used smartphones to capture the event, while others watched intently. Throughout the litany of names, students lying on the ground spoke up with demands of “justice now!” and cries claiming that police brutality was “killing us!” As the list of names came to an end, the students rose to their knees and raised their hands, symbolic of the nationwide struggle against a police state that gunned Michael Brown down in the streets of Ferguson as he surrendered. A number of chants rose through the building, again “hands up, don’t shoot” as well as “no justice, no peace.” Soon afterward, students sat down and listened to spoken word from a number of local poets, as well as moving stories from local activists regarding their own struggles against police brutality, ending with a final chant of “hands up, don’t shoot” before the demonstration dispersed.

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