Black Lives Matter supporters gather for protest on campus


Students gathered outside of the M.D. Anderson Library last Friday to protest police brutality and promote #BlackLivesMatter. | Photo by Dailey Hubbard \ The Cougar.

UH buzzed with energy as a group of students called out “Say her name” to pay tribute to Sandra Bland and other victims of police brutality last Friday outside of the M.D. Anderson Library.

Hosted by the Houston Anti-War Committee and the UH chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, the protest demanded justice for Bland and other victims, such as Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin.

Even students from Texas Southern University and Houston Community College joined in a show of solidarity.

In December, a grand jury decided not to indict anyone in connection with Bland’s death. Things changed in early January when Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, was  indicted on perjury charges for allegedly lying about his confrontation with Bland, as reported in the New York Times.

Bland was arrested in Prairie View, a town northwest of Houston.

“We chose Sandra Bland as the focal point because she was the most local of people murdered by the police in the past year,” Hayes said.

There were also leaders from various local organizations such as the Workers World Party, the New Black Panther Party as well as Rev. Ronnie Lister, a Houston-area social activist.

Lister was one of a few who gave speeches.

“I’m so glad to see young people who are part of this magnificent, transformative experience in this country,” he said. “You should give yourself a round of applause.”

A representative from the NBPP gave a speech as well.

When the group began to march around campus, many students stopped and watched; others pulled out their phones and began recording or taking pictures.

“Walking around…was really inspirational,Alex Hayes, journalism junior and one of the founders of the Students for a Democratic Society said. “That’s the real big thing for me and I’m sure (it’s the same) for everyone in the group (and also) for all the people that were watching.”

Hayes said he knows many students are new to UH and they have probably never seen a protest before.

“All it takes is one protest for you to want to get involved,” Hayes said. “I think it was a success.”

Hayes said that as the group began their march around campus, his hope for humanity was restored.

“It shows me that people actually do care,” Hayes said. “And it shows that people will take their time out of their day to walk around and chant about police brutality.”

Erica Fletcher, a visiting scholar in the Honors College and UH alum, also joined the crowd. She said that Bland’s death is something that impacts the way others see life in Texas.

“We need to think deeply about what it means that some people are discriminated against in a way that’s incredibly brutal, while others are not indicted for their actions,” Fletcher said.

Hayes said that while discrimination doesn’t often affect him personally, due to his privilege as a white man, he empathizes with the victims of police violence and injustice.

“We have to do everything we can to stop it,” he said.

Students for a Democratic Society will hold their first meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Nook Cafe. For more information, email them at [email protected].

[email protected]


  • You would think that with UH “buzzing” with energy … a picture showing throngs of BLM supporters spouting Communist ideals … could at least be produced.

    This was a terrible story by Samora and Gadison. What is Hayes’ first name? Comrade? Who cares about the 5-W’s anymore.

    You mean to tell me you couldn’t find one Black student to comment in this excuse of a story, instead the comments of a White “privileged” Socialist dominated, which is itself is insulting. .

    The BLM movement is in the past … and its original success will never be recreated. They tried it in Mizzou and it turned out to be a hoax.

    • “…until the Black race as a whole starts respecting themselves,” That’s WASP code for: when black people learn their oppressed place in WASPy society, you’ll have more respect for them. Yes, if only they’d go back to shuffling and stepping aside on the sidewalk for you to pass, everything would be well in your white privileged world, eh? How tormenting it must be for you to see a group stand up for itself against the decades of social injustices wrought by white supremacists and Neo Confederates. How you must pine for the days of yore when a battalion of cops with billy clubs, fire hoses, and attack dogs could quickly snuff out their right to civil disobedience and free speech.

      • GFUH … those White Supremacists and Neo Confederates … were Democrats.

        Yes Alex, I know you suffer from White Guilt. And I know you will be surprised that George Wallace was a Democrat … and Martin Luther King … was a Republican. Do you actually think MLK would vote in the same party of George Wallace?

        And I still maintain that until the Black race as a whole starts respecting themselves, they will always be seen as the people who cry racism at every turn; which the media will slurp up all the time.

        What I’m trying to argue is that if you want to be taken seriously as an adult … quit acting childish. Dr King argued for content of character, and I agree with him. Blacks that I have hired were brought on because of their substance, and not for the color of their skin.

        You know what I don’t here in all this Black Lives Matter stuff … no one is encouraging Blacks to go to Police Academies so they can police their own neighborhoods. No. what I see are Black protesters calling Black cops “white mans dogs,” which is very childish from the adults that calling out the tripe.

        No, Blacks are from the get go taught that cops are inherently bad, and unfortunately that comes with the environment that the Blacks are mostly brought up in. And then when the community needs cops to protect and serve … like in Baltimore during riots .. the mayor stands them down so they will continue to riot and get free stuff.

        Basically that’s what everything boils down to in the inner city … the ability to get free stuff … but sadly they never prosper.

  • “A representative from the NBPP gave a speech as well.”

    Now there giving outspoken hate groups a voice. Let’s bring back the kkk while were at it. Why are only white children being taught diversity and acceptance of other races? How far this country has fallen!

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