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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rutgers Students Stand thier Ground Against Social Injustice

Christopher Ettienne

It was the words "No justice, No peace" that echoed from protesting students in unison outside of the Rutgers University Student Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey early March 7, 2014. 

Influenced by the outcomes of recent "Stand your Ground" cases involving Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, students gathered together in protest for what they believed to be a large injustice taking place within America's judicial system.


Trayvon Martin, who was infamously shot and killed by George Zimmerman walking home on the evening of February 26th 2012 in Sanford, Florida, sparked the large amount of controversy and publicity surrounding the "Stand Your Ground" laws which Zimmerman used to justify his actions.  


Jordan Davis on the other hand, was a 17 year old African American male who was shot dead in his car by Michael Dunn after a Verbal confrontation about loud music.  Dunn was eventually convicted of three accounts of attempted second-degree murder.


Christopher Bradshaw, Treasurer of the Rutgers University Black Student Union (B.S.U.) helped orchestrate the event.
B.S.U., in correlation with other student organizations such as: Douglass Black Students' Congress (D.B.S.C.), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and Students for Justice in Palestine (S.J.P.).

Bradshaw stated the event reflects "social injustices in our criminal justice system... and how it disproportionately affects black and brown [individuals]". 
       
           

Jaimese Morris, representing the Douglass Black Students' Congress, attended the event for personal support and interest.  She said "As students and  minorities, we have to address these issues... This is happening to our young folk, it's happening to people around our age... When you look like the people that are being harmed it's up to you to make a difference."




          

Morris also plans to take strides in the future evoke positive change. She said, "I'm going into criminal justice and I'm going into law enforcement, I feel as though I should be the person who is going to be on the right side of justice."

Bradshaw offered similar sentiments, saying that students play an essential role in bringing about this change. He said "We are the next step in that leap, we are the people who are going to be educators and lawyers. So it's up to us to have a positive influence on social justice, social awareness and equality." 


Bradshaw concluded with the following: 


"We are all united in a struggle, it takes responsibility to accept that my problem is your problem, and even if it's not right now, it will be in the future".

  Special Thanks To Larry Hamm
Christopher Bradshaw also wanted to give a special thanks to Larry Hamm for helping him organize the event. Mr. Hamm is the Chairman of the "People’s Organization of Progress." 

Hamm has been a life time advocate for social justice. 


According to NJ.com he was state director for the million man march, and has helped lead demonstrations in Newark high schools, Princeton University, and is a well known activist against urban violence, and police brutality. 


Hamm was scheduled to attend the event, but suffered injuries from a recent car accident. 


According to the "People’s Organization for Progress" he is now successfully en route to recovery. 





The N.A.B.J. Rutgers Chapter staff wishes Mr. Hamm the best, and we look forward to meeting him in the future. 

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