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UNF SDS takes a knee for Black lives

Students who responded with racist Snapchat face consequences
By Ryan McClure |
October 13, 2017
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UNF SDS takes a knee for Black lives.
UNF SDS takes a knee for Black lives. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Jacksonville, FL - On Oct. 11, University of North Florida Students for a Democratic Society (UNF SDS) held a rally for Black Lives Matter and in solidarity with the protest going on in the NFL across the country. The event was called “Take a Knee UNF.” The event drew a crowd of over 150 students in support.

The 150 students who came out got the event started with a lot of energy and chants, including “Black lives matter!” and “When Black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” The event got started with speakers who brought in a variety of topics ranging from the connection between Palestinian liberation and Black liberation, to the current issues facing the city of Jacksonville, including a campaign for police accountability.

At the end of the event Dominic Mitchell and Monique Williamson, two leaders of SDS, read off a list of demands that the university should act on to promote equality and diversity. Students then took a knee with their fists up while chanting “UNF, take a knee, stop police brutality!” in solidarity with the fight against police crimes.

Overall the event was a huge success. Five or six counter-protesters came out, but were largely ignored and unable to disrupt the rally. Frustrated at their inability to disrupt the rally, at least one of the counter-protesters went home and, with the help of others, recorded a Snapchat social media video mocking the Black lives matter protesters. In the racist video, two young white men are seen acting like gorillas with a caption that reads “What actually went on at the BML (sic) rally.” The video has since gone viral, been reported to the administration, and has gained a level of national attention after writer Shaun King and actress Gabrielle Union posted condemnations of the video on Twitter.

SDS President Monique Williamson said, “We are going to fight back against this disgusting incident by lending support and standing in solidarity with various other organizations.”