Students at St. Louis University joined students from around the country on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, for a walk out in support of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose Aug. 9 shooting death by a police officer touched off two weeks of protests.Students at St. Louis University and Washington University joined students from around the country on Monday when they walked out on their first day of classes in support of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose Aug. 9 shooting death by a police officer has touched off protests nationwide.
About two dozen SLU students and some faculty gathered outside the school's center for Global Citizenship holding signs and listening to each other speak about how Brown's killing has affected them.
One student held a sign proclaiming, “We are Mike Brown.” Another student had a sign that read, “Billikens for Justice.”
Martin Zaldivar put down a sign saying “Mike won't be in class today,” as he took the microphone.
He told the crowd that as a white Hispanic, he doesn't fully understand the dynamics surrounding some black communities and their relationship with police.
“But this has impacted me very much,” Zaldivar said.
“We have to have these conversations with people who don't realize that they are privileged so that they will know that this world is truly unjust.”
“We have to continue to fight for our rights because they are being violated,” he added.Later, walkout organizer Stacey Banks, a junior in SLU's Doisy College of Health Sciences, led the group to turn outward showing their signs to passersby while also observing a moment of silence that lasted for several minutes.
The walkouts at SLU and Washington University mirrored similar demonstrations held Monday at Syracuse, George Mason, the University of Kansas and Antioch College in Ohio.
The demonstrations came on the same day Brown's funeral was held. His family has said he would have been attending classes at Vatterott College had he not been killed.