Update: This evening, Eric Garner's daughter, Erica Garner, held a vigil and die-in in Staten Island, New York, as well, laying in the same spot where her father was killed.
Over the course of the past week, campuses across the country, including those of the Princeton Theological Seminary, NYU, and George Washington University, have been participating in these protests, which require the participants to lie down, seemingly dead in the street, creating a powerful and haunting image.
Many of these campus protests have been met with thoughtful support from universities. For example, Columbia University’s law school offered students who were traumatized by the grand-jury decisions the opportunity to postpone their final exams, and later extended the same offer to its undergraduate students as well.
This week, U.S. medical students joined the protests by staging die-ins while donning their white lab coats. Using the hashtag #whitecoats4blacklives, the students aimed to show their solidarity with other protesters and to highlight that systemic racism is a public-health issue. YaleNews reports that some protesters held signs calling attention to health-related issues, like “Black infant mortality is twice that of whites” and “Blacks are less likely to be put on transplant lists.”
And today, minority congressional staffers added their voices in protest, showing support for the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown by staging a walkout at the Capitol. One staffer told CNN, "It's important that we show our solidarity and come together and really speak out about the injustices that are being done."
The pictures of the many protests that follow make a very clear statement of solidarity — and will, with any luck, ignite the dialogue and change we need.