WCU students protest police brutality

WCU students join the country's protests demanding justice for Erica Gardner and Michael Brown. Photo by Michaella Neal.

WCU students join the country’s protests demanding justice for Erica Gardner and Michael Brown. Photo by Michaella Neal.

Students at Western Carolina University gathered on Friday, Dec. 5, at the fountain to protest the lives lost by police brutality in America and the unfair treatment of African Americans in the United States legal system.

Students gathered at noon to participate in a form of peaceful protest known as a “die-in.” Recent victims of police brutality were called out by name and students lie down on the ground  in silence for 11 minutes in honor of the death of Eric Garner.

WCU Students Jasmine Baylor and O’shay Massey helped organize the protest.

“As a black community on this campus and all around America we are just tired,” said co-coordinator Massey. “It’s really sad and I hate that we have to protest to do these things, but at this point we are just fed up and people need to hear what we have to say.”

Protester Kasia Maatafale believes that the problem is that there isn’t enough education on both sides of that matter. Maatafale believes that in order to find a solution everyone must be educated.

Yik Yak response to the protest

Yik Yak response to the protest

“At this point everyone is just pissed, and we really need to think about what solutions can come out of this,” said Maatafale. “We’re all humans and we all react differently and act differently. It going to be difficult to find a solution and a real definition of justice.”

Students were also outraged because of the posts of threats and racial slurs posted on the anonymous social media site Yik Yak.

The posts, some of which are shown to the left, caused a reaction on social media and left students asking, “What’s next?” and wondering how the university will  respond to the issue of racism.

Students hope that everyone would join the cause and hopefully see the issue not just as a race issue, but as an issue of police brutality.

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