Memorial collage for lives lost to police brutality torn down twice in Red Square
On Wednesday night, a memorial collage comprised of photos of the black and brown lives lost to police violence, quotes, and law enforcement statistics was torn down twice in Red Square.
Members of the Georgetown University Black Leadership Forum had originally hung this collage on Monday night. According to Esther Owolabi (COL ’15), a member of the BLF and one of the organizers of #GU Ferguson Week of Action, the memorial had previously shown no sign of wear despite the week of bad weather.
At around 5 pm Wednesday night, however, another BLF member noticed that the collage was missing from its space in Red Square, the designated free-speech zone on campus. “After walking around and looking for it, she found the collage inside ICC near the trash can,” Owolabi said. “In an attempt not to jump to conclusions, we decided to assume the poster may have fallen due to wind.”
Owolabi told Vox that around 5:30pm, members of the BLF decided to rehang the collage and reinforce it with stronger tape. Less than two hours later, the poster was found on the ground once again, visibly crumpled, near the ICC. That same evening, over 50 students came to Red Square to hang the poster for a third time after the candelight vigil for victims of police brutality.
Today marks the last official day of #GU Ferguson Week of Action, an idea that was conceived by the Black Leadership Forum. Freedom Friday, a day of civil disobedience and demonstration, is expected to begin at 4:48.
“We were inspired by the nationwide demonstrations and conversations that have taken shape in similar forms since August,” Owolabi wrote to Vox. “The goal of the Week of Action was to create a safe space to reflect, stand in solidarity, coalition build, and demand justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ayana Jones and the countless black and brown lives who have suffered from police brutality.”
Owolabi says that as Georgetown is an institution that generates future leaders, the BLF wants to maintain these important discussions and raise student awareness about the tragic reoccurring injustices.
“We are ultimately hoping to encourage both campus-wide dialogue and compassion for each other,” she said. “From this Week of Action, we hope that Georgetown students will learn to love each other more deeply and seek a common humanity in one another while also critically questioning why these kinds of tragic events are happening in our nation.”
Photo: Adebusola Awosanya (COL ’15)