Preparing for the soon expected grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri, students at the University of Pennsylvania held a ceremonial funeral on Friday afternoon for “black and brown bodies” oppressed by the evils of capitalism and the racism of police officers.
Known as the Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), the multicultural student group founded in 2012 has held a litany of stunts on the Philadelphia campus to “create a more conscious and active community at UPenn and in Philadelphia,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
Since the beginning of the school year, SOUL has deemed Friday “#FergusonFriday,” a day when members wrap-up the work week with symbolic graveyards, performances featuring blood-drenched bodies and most recently a mock funeral to demonstrate against the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
“Judicial system + capitalism + police brutality = representing the systemic oppression that has contributed to the genocide of black and brown bodies. Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The WHOLE damn system is guilty as hell,” warned one Facbook post from earlier this month.
An anonymous attendee, however, said that the group’s latest demonstration was “largely disorganized,” and remained in la-la land where a lot of the facts surrounding racism and Michael Brown were ignored, according to Campus Reform.
“It was so over-the-top for a standpoint that’s not even solidified,” the attendee told Campus Reform. “None of this would have been happening if Michael Brown hadn’t been killed, but we’re not even looking at the facts or evidence. They’re going through great lengths to make this display and not paying attention to what is actually going on. It just seems like a show.” (RELATED: Congressional Black Caucus Head Warns Of Violence If Grand Jury Fails To Indict Ferguson Cop)
In addition to eulogizing Michael Brown, the couple dozen members or supporters of SOUL circled around the ceremonial coffin on Friday, pleaded desperate words on immigration reform, and even how the American public is misinformed about the true story of the Civil War. Once these justice seekers finished lamenting the state of the horribly racist world in which they live, group members grabbed and hugged-out their feelings. The hugs were described as “solemn,” according to Campus Reform.
The ceremony wrapped up with the students walking single-file to the casket, where they poured water into a bucket, an African tradition.