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Ferguson rally organizers to host vigil for Garner

12/4/14 7:34am

Rice students Osaki Bilaye-Benibo and Blaque Robinson, two of the organizers of the Ferguson rally, are holding a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. in the academic quad. This event comes after a grand jury declined yesterday to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner.

"The vigil is primarily in response to the decision regarding the murder of [Garner]," Bilaye-Benibo, a Lovett College senior, said. "However, the vigil is also a place to mourn the loss of black life in general. The injustice of the Garner decision is but one that shows the continued degradation of black life."

Robinson, a Wiess College junior, said the event is about more than just the killing of a single individual.

"This is something to mourn the loss of black lives at the hands of police and the lack of retribution in general," Robinson said.

Robinson said the event and the Black Lives Matter movement is an exercise in community building, and involves everyone, not just black individuals.

"We will be speaking love to one another at this event and expressing our deep sorrow," Robinson said. "More than anything, this will be an exercise in love and compassion as students, Black and non-Black, come together to support one another and give hugs and love."

The event's Facebook page indicates less attendance than last week's Ferguson rally. As of 3:30 p.m., 97 are reporting to attend the vigil, compared to the rally's 332.

"In midst of yet another egregious mishandling of justice, please join us as we comfort each other and mourn the continued loss of black life," the event description states.

Updated 3:30 pm with response from Robinson.

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