Several students recently gathered at Holmgren Meadow to protest or express solidarity for #ShutDownA14, a movement to stop police brutality against people of color.
After the deaths of Black men by police in the past year, such as Eric Harris and Walter Scott, activists and Co-founders of organization Stop Mass Incarceration Network Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West began #ShutDownA14 as a call to action on Apr. 6.
Stop Mass Incarceration Network is a non-profit organization that works to focus on the issues of mass incarceration for people of color, police brutality and the legal and court systems in the United States.
#ShutDownA14 intended to stop parts of daily life as a means of resistance in many cities, such as Brooklyn, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mills College’s Holmgren Meadow was one of those gathering points, along with 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland and University of California, Berkeley.
According to a flyer for the Bay Area’s activities in this movement, the network called for people to not go to work and for students to walk out of class to show support for this day. The same flyer identified gathering points for the Bay Area to protest and show support.
Because of the low turnout of fifteen people at Holmgren Meadow, several students made posters to take with them to the other gathering places in Oakland and San Francisco.
Although disappointed with the turnout, Junior Evelyn Carmack expressed appreciation for students that came to show support or played a role in the event.
“It’s nice to walk out here and see that there are a small handful of us that think about these things,” Carmack said. “I’m really happy to know that there are folks from Mills going to protest downtown to be in solidarity.”
Junior Delma Hernandez shared this sentiment, expressing the importance of the gathering at Mills.
“It’s good to have that … empowerment in the community and knowing that something is being done,” Hernandez said.
As a participant of the gathering on campus, Sophomore Paulina Baker felt that this movement was important to prove a point that people of color being killed by police.
“I felt that this movement is necessary, and I feel that more work needs to be done,” Baker said. “This has been happening for a really long time, and more people are becoming aware of it, but the Black community was always aware of it. It’s not that really new to us.”
More information about the Stop Mass Incarceration Network is available on the website: http://www.stopmassincarceration.net, their Facebook page: The Stop Mass Incarceration Network and through Twitter @StopMassIncNet.