FGCU Students Rally Against Police Brutality
More than two dozen students gathered at Florida Gulf Coast University on Thursday to rally against police brutality and social inequality.
The demonstration was organized by the student organization FGCU Coalition for Racial Justice. It was the first rally held on campus since the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville at the hands of law enforcement, which sparked similar demonstrations throughout the nation.
FGCU student Breanna Bland helped to organize the rally.
“We wanted to show that we were in solidarity with the people in Louisville and to show that we’re not done--no justice, no peace,” Bland said.
The students wore face masks and marched through the campus chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Her Name,” and “Say His Name,” in honor of Taylor and Floyd. Demonstrators held a moment of silence lasting eight minutes and 46 seconds--the length of time a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Political Science and Criminal Justice major Nadjuska Maurice said she attended the rally to help raise awareness about police brutality.
“No one deserves to be killed by the police just because of their skin tone,” Maurice said.
Breanna Bland said there is more work to be done on campus to promote social and racial equality.
“We don’t want emails from the school saying that they were there with us,” Bland said. “Put forth the work and the action.”
Bland said more demonstrations are being planned for the fall semester.