Black Lives Matter protesters take campus-wide march to Student Union, community members speak on concerns
Photos by Alex Sands.
“The whole damn system is guilty as hell” was the chant that turned heads on UNC Charlotte’s campus Wednesday, as a march of students and community members interrupted the flow of campus.
Protesters made their way down Craver Road, which was closed for the march, throughout campus and back to the Student Union, where a rally was held.
Organized by faculty and staff, the event was in response to the police shooting that occurred in University City last week.
Multiple protests were held on campus for the same incident last week, including a lay-in at the Student Union. Protesters claim they will not stop anytime soon.
“The fact is, we as a people, feel like second class [explicit] citizens. We are not against the police, we’re against police killing us. So can we please as a unit, a community, push past this thought that we’re a hate group,” said junior Kris Long, who led the protest.
Long mentioned his two year old cousin multiple times throughout the protest.
“What am I supposed to tell him about this? Be scared of police cause you’re black,” said Long.
Director of Learning Resource Center Colette Townsend-Chambers spoke at the rally.
“I’m here on this campus every day; teaching students, loving students, but who’s gonna love my boys,” asked Townsend-Chambers.
Townsend-Chambers told the crowd she adopted her black, autistic son at age two.
“Do you wanna know what our conversation is every single night? ‘Son, if the police stop you, raise your hand, tell them you’re autistic so they don’t shoot you down like a dog.’ Every single day, for 21 years,” explained Townsend-Chambers.
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois sent out an email to parents of UNC Charlotte students, addressing concerns about the event being allowed on campus.
Dubois assured that representative from Police and Public Safety, Emergency Management and Health and Environmental Safety would be present at the events. He also mentioned that a Demonstration Activity Resource Team had been created to serve as a resource to demonstration organizers.
“A university is a place that creates dialogue and discussion. In difficult times like these, it’s more important than ever that we remain committed to that effort,” wrote Dubois.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. in the quad by the Student Activities Center.