Yesterday hundreds of students, joined by some members of Bowdoin’s faculty and staff, showed their support for the families and communities of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two black men killed by white police officers recently.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, people by the dozens began walking across campus toward the Museum of Art steps. Ashley Bomboka ’16 had previously sent out a campus-wide email asking people to dress in black and participate in a group photograph to commemorate Michael Brown and “the countless black men and women who have lost their lives in this country due to police brutality.”
Bomboka, with a bullhorn, instructed the participants at the museum to hold their hands up for several photos. One of these photos will be sent to the city of Ferguson “to show solidarity with Ferguson, Mo., on the death of Michael Brown,” she said. She also invited people to have individual photos taken, or a quick video, which she also plans to send to Ferguson “to show our continued support and condolence.”
Later in the evening, many students participated in a die-in at Thorne and Moulton Dining Halls. At 6:15, Michelle Kruk ’16 stood on a chair in Thorne, yelled “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and then fell to the floor. Dozens of other students fell, too. They lay still for 4.5 minutes, “representing the 4.5 hours Michael Brown’s body was left uncovered on the street,” Symone Howard ’15 explained.
After the 4.5 minutes of silence at the die-in, Kruk announced, “As members of the Bowdoin community we all have a responsibility to both acknowledge these events and to support those who seek to widen the dialogue on issues of race.”
Additionally, on the night of the grand jury decision to not indict Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, the African American Society held a candlelight vigil at the museum steps. Between 75 and 100 students joined, according to The Bowdoin Orient.
Photos at Museum steps taken by Mattie Daughtry