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City College Students Walk Out To Protest Ferguson Decision

City College students lie on the ground and observe a moment of silence in honor of slain Missouri teen Michael Brown, Dec. 2, 2014.
Megan Burks
City College students lie on the ground and observe a moment of silence in honor of slain Missouri teen Michael Brown, Dec. 2, 2014.
City College Students Walk Out To Protest Ferguson Decision
About 200 City College students walked out of classes Tuesday. They gathered beneath gray skies to honor slain Ferguson, Missouri, teen Michael Brown.
Luis Lopez wears a "43" on his cheek to commemorate a group of 43 students who went missing in Mexico. Lopez and his classmates walked out of classes on Dec. 2, 2014, to protest the social disenfranchisement of minorities in the U.S. and Mexico.
Megan Burks
Luis Lopez wears a "43" on his cheek to commemorate a group of 43 students who went missing in Mexico. Lopez and his classmates walked out of classes on Dec. 2, 2014, to protest the social disenfranchisement of minorities in the U.S. and Mexico.

A coalition of student organizations Tuesday joined the national chorus of demonstrators chanting "Black Lives Matter" in the wake of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri. But the group expanded its message to include the campus's many Latino and indigenous Mexican students.

"Minorities struggling with the social and political system that we have," said Luis Lopez, who is indigenous Mixtec and came to San Diego in 2005 from southwest Mexico.

"It's something that has been happening with our black brothers and sisters here in the U.S., and it's something that has been happening in Mexico with our indigenous communities."

Lopez painted his cheek with the number 43 to represent the group of students that went missing in September in central Mexico. The missing students have become a flash point for protesters of government corruption there.

City College students have been organizing around the cause, along with Ferguson, in recent months.

Student Lawrence Samuel Walker is black and said he didn't mind the dual messages of Tuesday's demonstration.

City College student Lawrence Samuel Walker addresses a crowd of about 200 during a walkout on Dec. 2, 2014.
Megan Burks
City College student Lawrence Samuel Walker addresses a crowd of about 200 during a walkout on Dec. 2, 2014.

"If you see a black man die and a white man die, wouldn't you care about them? One's not more important than the other, and that's what everybody needs to understand," Walker said.

"Nobody is better than anybody. We're all human."

Walker addressed the crowd, encouraging students to bring groups together — even law enforcement.

"Even the cops, we love you guys, too," Walker said. "But you guys need to know, let the other police know, too, stop the violence. Help us. Protect us. We are the people."

City College faculty also joined the hour-long demonstration honoring Michael Brown. The black Missouri teen was fatally shot by a white police officer in August.

A grand jury decided last week not to indict the officer.

The student groups that organized the demonstration include Pillars of the Community Scholars Society, Students in Power, Umoja and Tainh.

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