Last spring, The Nation launched its biweekly student movement dispatch. As part of the StudentNation blog, each dispatch hosts first-person updates on youth organizing. For recent dispatches, check out August 29 and September 15. For an archive of earlier editions, see the New Year’s dispatch. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with tips. Edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky).
1. The Long March for John Crawford
On Monday, September 22, more than 100 people walked 11.6 miles from the Beavercreek Walmart where John Crawford was shot by police, through the back roads of Greene County, to the grand jury courthouse in Xenia—where there was no justice to be found. The jury declined to indict Officer Sean Williams, who killed John. While the Ohio Student Association was saddened by the verdict, we know the criminal justice system is in need of major structural changes—so we were not surprised. Immediately after the decision, we held meetings with more than 200 people in Dayton and Columbus to discuss next steps. This week, we will begin a new round of actions calling for a fundamental shift in power between law enforcement and our people. We are looking to our allies around the nation for support. Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown and Ezell Ford illustrate that this is not just a Beavercreek problem—but a nationwide crisis affecting young people of color and a moment for us all to throw down.
2. The Growing Campus Movement
The execution of John Crawford is but one example of how black lives are undervalued—and quickly erasable by police force. In response, Kent State University’s Black United Students, an ally of the Ohio Student Association, orchestrated a die-in of more than 100 students to send a message about police brutality within the black community and show support to the families who have become victims of this injustice. Moving forward, we are in communication with the Kent City Police department and are working with the student body to create a system where students can effectively and easily report any issues or injustices at the hands of local police or the university.