Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Hundreds of university and high school students staged a "die-in" in Harvard Square, Massachusetts in memory of slain black teenager Michael Brown. (Photo: Kyleaspencer/ Instagram)

Hundreds of university and high school students staged a "die-in" in Harvard Square, Massachusetts in memory of slain black teenager Michael Brown. (Photo: Kyleaspencer/ Instagram)

Thousands Take Part in National Die-Ins, Demonstrations for Michael Brown

#HandsUpWalkOut part of national wave of demonstrations protesting non-indictment of Darren Wilson

At 1:01 PM on Monday afternoon thousands of individuals—a large portion of whom are college and high school students—stopped what they were doing. In acts of remembrance of slain black teenager Michael Brown, people across the country staged die-ins, demonstrations, and fell quiet for four and a half minutes—a protest which they say is "only the beginning."

In New York City, an estimated 400 protesters stood in Union Square and beat their chests with their hands, mimicking Michael Brown's heart beating. More than 500 Harvard University and local high school students gathered in Harvard Square where students laid in the streets in a "die-in" in solidarity with Brown and other innocent people killed by police. Outside of the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton station, protesters drew chalk bodies on the sidewalk, and in Washington D.C. people convened outside the Department of Justice.

Other protests were held on college campuses across the country, including: Brandeis, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Colorado at Boulder; Texas A&M; Stanford University; Yale University; Jackson State University in Mississippi; and the University of Missouri in St. Louis—just miles away from Ferguson, the community in which Brown lived and was killed.

Images from the demonstrations were shared widely online under the hashtag #HandsUpWalkOut.

In NYC:

Brandeis University:

In Washington DC:

Boston University:

Clayton High School, Missouri:

Harvard University:

Louisiana State University:

In Chicago:

Yale University:

Organized by the group Ferguson Action, the day of action is among other ongoing demonstrations protesting the grand jury's decision not to indict St. Louis police officer Darren Wilson, who shot the unarmed teen.

"This protest is only the beginning," Boston Latin high school senior Sydney Fisher told the crowd in Harvard Square. "I am only asking for you help in continuing the conversation of race in America...as youth, we need to step forward and take responsibility for the future of America."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·