UVA students stage 'die-in' to honor lives lost to police brutality

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- On Friday, dozens of University of Virginia students gathered to protest the police shootings that have gained national attention.

It was a peaceful protest of students who said they wanted to express that black lives matter, too. The students didn't just say it, they showed it.

An array of students, from different backgrounds participated in the protest by dressing in all black.

During the protest, students staged a 'die-in' and laid down on the ground in silence as if they were dead.

The protest was organized by members of UVA's Black Student Alliance. Members said the 'die-in' symbolized all the lives lost at the hand of police officers who used excessive force.

Members of the Black Student Alliance also said the protest did not focus on any one issue, it was a response to national events including the shooting deaths of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte.

"This is powerful, people walk by and they see this visual expression of black death, of what has been going on across the country and they have to be confronted with that," said Weston Gobar, Political Action Director of the Black Student Alliance. "Everyone here is a future leader, this is a college full of accomplished individuals and by having events like this, we can get people thinking about police brutality, thinking about black oppression and we can break apathy."

Organizers said they decided to stage the 'die-in' at Old Cabell Hall on Grounds, because they say it too, has a history of racial injustice.

Some students said Old Cabell Hall was a later addition to the university, built to hide a growing affluent African-American community.

UVA's 'die-in' was one of many events held at universities across the nation, for National Black-out Day. A day to express solidarity and have open discussion about the police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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