KU students stand silent for black lives, trans lives - KCTV5

KU students stand silent for black lives, trans lives

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A group of University of Kansas students stood silent to make a point about black lives and trans lives. (KCTV5) A group of University of Kansas students stood silent to make a point about black lives and trans lives. (KCTV5)
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

A group of University of Kansas students stood silent to make a point about black lives and trans lives. 

On Monday, students put up posters around campus. Hours later, they say, the posters disappeared. 

There were nearly a 100 people standing like statues with one fist in the air.

Some held signs naming people of color killed by police, with the hashtag "say their name."

The event was organized before the poster problem emerged. 

It stemmed from a transgender student of color being harassed and threatened on campus.

"We believe that's it's not okay to harass a Trans woman of color and so of course, that affects several different groups and so then they are standing here in solidarity for that," said Rayfield Lawrence, the protest's organizer. 

Not a word was spoken, an intentional move meant to avoid conflict. 

"For us to be silent, we are no longer being portrayed as violent," Lawrence said. "We're not being portrayed as out of control social justice warriors. We're standing here for something we believe in and that's it."

Abby Detrich, a student at KU, walked past the demonstration and said it was more power than any chant. 

"You can walk by and you just get chills because there's a whole lot of energy there that you just don't get with a louder protest," she said. 

Another student took issue with the approach. 

Marissa Webb contends demonstrating - and turning chalk drawings for a sorority - into broad statements about race - get in the way of finding common ground.

"They're putting me in a predicament," she said. "I wasn't even part of the protest and I still feel awkward when I'm talking to a white person because of all this stuff that's going on on the campus."

He says campus police took down the signs yesterday at the order of the administration.

Along with the signs, a Black Lives Matter banner over Strong Hall was also torn down. It's the second time a banner has been taken down. Two weeks ago, a banner was stolen from Ecumenical Campus Ministries. 

KCTV5 was provided a written policy that limits signs to bulletin boards and chalking. Those messages are limited to "registered" student groups to promote events and services like classified ads. 

More information on that policy can be found here. 

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