Last Wednesday, over 50 UTM students walked out of class, and attended a march in solidarity with Mike Brown and black youth affected by police brutality.
The march began in front of the William G. Davis building, and then winded throughout the campus, with attendees chanting “no justice, no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot.”
The march was organized by University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) vice-president, equity Melissa Theodore in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man, by white police officer Darren Wilson. A preliminary private autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times in the chest and head.
A number of community activists spoke at the event, including Rose Streete, a recipient of the 2013 YMCA Peace Medallion and candidate for Mississauga City Councilor in Ward 8. Streete urged students to fight injustice in their community, and called for an end to institutionalized violence on people of colour.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the march was part of the Hands Up Student Walk Out initiative, which calls for a number of fundamental changes in light of the Brown shooting and subsequent protests, including “a swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Mike Brown shooting, and expanded Department of Justice investigation into patterns of civil rights violations across North St. Louis County.”