Amnesty International at VCU focused its collective attention on the shooting of a local, black Richmond man at its first meeting of the fall semester Sept. 10.
Members buzzed around the room handing out fliers to newcomers in order to broadcast their upcoming events. Along with information about the club came the main item on the agenda for the meeting: information about the death of Marcus-David Peters, the unarmed man gunned down by a Richmond police officer in May.
Amnesty International is a non-partisan human rights organization. The non-governmental association focuses on the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide through education, awareness-building, advocacy and lobbying.
During the meeting, the executive board members wore shirts with Marcus-David Peters’ face and information on his death.
“Tonight we’re wearing the shirts because we went to city council to demand that they act and take accountability for the actions that happened after he was killed by the police officer,” said Nathan Land, outreach coordinator for Amnesty International.
Prospective new members were interested in learning about the issues addressed by the club.
“The reason why I came to this meeting was because I liked how they covered social justice and a lot of hot topics,” said VCU freshman Rose Shahid.
To raise awareness about the shooting and its repercussions, Amnesty joined a coalition with other human rights organizations, including Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters and Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality.
The coalition will participate in a national march on Saturday, Oct. 13. Individuals from the Richmond area will march to stand up against the recent ruling that Marcus-David Peters’ death was justifiable — and to raise awareness of systematic police violence throughout the U.S.
Amnesty International and Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters invite students to participate in the National March for Justice and Reformation. To sign up to attend, visit justiceandreformation.org/march-details.