GENESEO – Students seeking SUNY-wide protests to the non-indictments of police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City staged a second rally during the first half of the Geneseo Ice Knights vs Fredonia Blue Devils Friday evening.
About a dozen students coordinated the protest and came into the hockey rink with concealed signs saying “Black lives matter” and “Justice is as blind as it is deaf,” and marched out of the arena with their hands up, chanting “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” Though nowhere near the scale of that afternoon’s protest, where more than 300 students flooded the College Green and lay as if dead in front of the library, the leaders of the campus movement say it gets to a different demographic, and helps to drive their message home.
“People are not always wanting to understand where you are coming from,” said Ashley Ramos, 20, a student protester. “[Brown and Garner’s deaths] were not isolated incidents, this is happening every day, in every neighborhood. To get people to want to understand is the hardest part.”
Ramos added that the protest is part of an effort by Geneseo students to rally other SUNY schools to their cause. Sasha Miller, the president of the Students Against Social Injustice organization on campus, said that other schools did stage protests today, and that more than a dozen student clubs and organizations are working with their friends in other SUNY schools to stage more demonstrations.
Though all protests have been peaceful and without incident, two university police officers stood by at the arena and were aware of the group and their plans for the evening.
“SUNY Cortland had a protest today, and we are working with contacts at SUNY Fredonia,” said Miller, 19. “Geneseo is a very caring community. today is a representation of that. One of our organizers was in a adolescence psychology class, and the professor stopped the lecture to talk about the protest happening outside.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Photo by Victoria DuBon.