By Charlie Smart
A group of UConn students gathered on Fairfield Way Monday afternoon to take part in a four and a half hour long silent protest. A Facebook group for the demonstration says its goal is to mourn the death of Micheal Brown, the black teenager killed by officer Daren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri this past August, as well as to call attention to “the death of the American justice system’s validity.” On Nov. 24, a grand jury ruled not to indict Officer Wilson in the death of Brown, a decision which sparked great controversy and civil unrest in and around Ferguson. Michael Reardon, a UConn student and co-organizer of the demonstration was less than pleased with the court decision.
“I would say that I passionately disagree with the grand jury verdict. I think that if you look at the facts of the case, if you look at the eyewitness accounts and how they are juxtaposed to Darren Wilson’s account, I think the verdict is pretty clear,” Reardon said.
As the members of the demonstration sat in silence, some with duct tape over their mouths, passing students voiced their opinions on Ferguson and the protest here at UConn. This student did not think the protest was a good idea.
“I don’t disagree with all of it, but there are some points that I do disagree with.”
Reardon said that the scope of today’s event extends beyond the death of Michael Brown and encompasses race issues both nationally and here at UConn. He cited specific change that he hope to see instilled at UConn in the future.
“The first and most concrete argument that we have against the university is that in the student code of conduct there is no mention of race, no mention of racism, no definition of racism,” Reardon said. “How can a college student who hasn’t been educated regarding race then know how to move forward?”
Students plan to meet Tuesday outside the Student Union to hold a vigil for Michael Brown.