Our Lives Matter and Howard Demonstrations Prove Protest Isn’t Dead
Posted by Lailah Berry
April 10, 2018
After the Black Lives Matter protests, and all of the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” marches, I began to lose faith in activism. I started to believe that maybe it truly was a passive way to get someone’s attention and that the method was dead. Back in the times of Martin Luther King Jr. and Huey Freeman, things like sit ins and protests and speaking engagements outside of serious public buildings were a force to be reckoned with, but as times changed, so did the system. Recent events have changed my mind.
It’s certainly a time to be alive as we, young people of the larger population start to listen and open our eyes to things that affect us. We need to vote more and we need to make sure we stay informed on topics surrounding us. An amazing example of awareness and execution was the Stoneman Douglas shooting survivors who turned around and orchestrated a protest, walk- out, and march in order to obtain safer schools by having more gun control.
Within the last month, we’ve witnessed two great exercises of non-violent protests: Our Lives Matter and the Howard demonstrations. The Our Lives Matter March in Washington, D.C. that raised awareness about how students have had enough of Guns being chosen over their lives. They demanded stronger gun reform, and many celebrities came out, marched, sang and even contributed to the cause.
Last week when the financial aid scandal broke from Howard’s campus, the students were faced with a dilemma: fight back, or continue to suffer the negligence of the campus’s administration.
Howard University students exploded into a protest over 8 days ago after a student was accused of stealing over $400,000 in financial aid. The student, Tyrone Hankerson had a job in the financial aid office and worked very closely with the funds. It’s believed that he had been allocating financial aid to his accounts, and traveling and buying clothes with the excess money.
Now, outraged at Howard University, the students started protesting. They’ve been occupying buildings on campus, holding studying and tutoring sessions, and also self care events within the protest. They’ve finally ended the sit in, it lasted 9 whole days and ended in a negotiation with the administration.
Watch Tyrone Hankerson’s interview below where he explains his side of the story: