This year’s second-annual Black Out hosted by DUSA (DU Student Activists) blocked traffic of Driscoll Bridge on Oct. 2 at noon and brought students together to protest police brutality and systemic racism. The group of student protestors proved over 100 strong, uniform in all black clothing and the desire to take “action against the systemic and institutional forces that racism and white supremacy to exist globally, domestically and across college campuses” (DUSA).
The protest was eerily silent, Driscoll Bridge pedestrians heedfully wove their way through the maze of student protesters as Makia Jones—previous president of DU’s Black Student Alliance (BSA)—invited the student and faculty members present to #TakeAKnee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick the football player currently in the national spotlight for protesting against police brutality. Jones, among other members of DUSA, proceeded to name victims of police shootings.
“We’ve come a long way y’all. It’s not just this moment. We’ve been doing this since the 60s, even before then. We’re here in 2017 and continuing this work to make sure that people are aware that this issue matters,” said Jones to protest attendees.
As this year continues to face the issues that, as Jones recalled, activists have fought for decades, DUSA is trying to be unfazed and hopeful for the aspiration of a more inclusive, and safer future.
Cate Daniels, vice president of BSA and a representative of DUSA, voiced her hopes and excitement heartfully,
“We’re (DUSA) so happy with the turnout as an indication of a bright future that we hope to see for this campus and for our nation. Additionally, we’d like to challenge all of those who were inspired by today’s events to get more involved on campus to fight for social justice alongside DUSA and other organizations.”
During the protest, Daniels read off a list of ten rights that every human being deserves including freedom, health, safety, love, courage, education and the right to know our rights. “We’re here to recognize the value of the lives who have had their rights stripped from them,” Daniels said.
DUSA is a student-led coalition whose mission is to “courageously support and mobilize the DU and greater Denver community members to advocate for social, political and environmental justice. Through collective dialogue, education and action, DUSA will neither rest nor remain silent until the DU community becomes the inclusive and socially aware campus that students, faculty and staff deserve it to be.”
The alliance hosts meetings every Thursday in the Driscoll Underground at 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and welcomes all students to come, to listen, and to help create a better future collectively.