Students at Indiana University (IU) participated in a “die-in” on Monday to highlight the xenophobia Muslims and undocumented immigrants have faced since 9/11. Demonstrators laid on the ground with statistics and messages related to xenophobia taped to their backs, while they pretended to be dead.
The fairly peculiar demonstration was organized by “UndocuHoosiers,” a student organization at IU designed “to serve the needs of undocumented people at Indiana University,” according to their club biography.
According to reporting by the Indiana Daily Student, the student group’s die-in was meant “to highlight the xenophobia Muslims faced after 9/11 and how this xenophobia still affects them today.”
Some student protesters, such as IU employee Jennifer Brooks, attended the demonstration in an effort to raise awareness over conduct toward immigrants.
“Immigrant bashing is popular right now, and it’s wrong, and I stand with all immigrants, whether they are documented or not,” Brooks lamented.
The die-in involved numerous IU students lying down on the ground outside of IU’s Woodburn Hall. The student activists were seen with signs on their back detailing statistics mainly correlating around xenophobia, and some concerning illegal immigration.
The point of the event was to “get people talking on a day that is politically charged,” according to UndocuHoosiers’ fundraising chair Willy Palomo.
Prior to the die-in, the student group engaged in a series of chants on the Bloomington campus, and then proceeded with a speech by their group president, IU junior Esmeralda Martinez.
According to IDS, Martinez apparently contextualized the protest on the topic of 9/11 attacks. Supposedly, Martinez did speak of respect for the nearly 3,000 victims involved in the terrorist attacks, however, also implored the IU community to “not to forget the people affected by the xenophobia which came as a result of the tragedy.”
Martinez then initiated the demonstration.
“We can be the people, we will be the people,” Martinez expressed. “Now, I ask you to die.”
The student protesters collapsed onto the walkway of the Bloomington campus.