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Students organize Ferguson solidarity rally

11/24/14 9:44pm

Rice University students are organizing a solidarity rally at noon in the academic quad after a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.

According to the event's Facebook page, participants will stage a die-in, similar to sit-in, in which students will lie on the ground as if they were dead, while others will stand among them with signs about racial injustice.

"In light of the recent misplacement of justice with regards to the murder of [Brown] in Ferguson, Missouri, we have decide to advocate for the value of black life," the Facebook event description states. "We will not remain silent as black lives are devalued and stolen across this country."

Rally organizer Osaki Bilaye-Benibo said he wants the Rice community to recognize the significance of the rally.

"My hopes for the event are to raise awareness about the fragility and devaluation of black life, as well as advocate that we DO matter," Bilaye-Benibo, a Lovett College senior, said. "Following this latest Grand Jury decision, we couldn't bear to stay silent."

According to Bilaye-Benibo, the event was conceived by Hanszen College senior Brianne Rodgers and Wiess College junior Blaque Robinson after they learned of the grand jury's decision.

"Myself, [Rodgers], and [Robinson] are the initial organizers," Bilaye-Benibo said. "But quite a few hands have gone into putting this together."

As of 4:00 a.m., the Facebook event reports 246 going and over 1,500 invited.

Rodgers and Robinson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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