UCI Med Students Stage #WhiteCoats4BlackLives "Die-in" Protest

Courtesy of Melissa Perez

About 30 UC Irvine medical students wore white coats and outlined themselves in chalk on Wednesday to protest the lack of indictments against officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.

Held on International Human Rights Day, the protests were part of a coordinated nationwide effort. More than 70 medical campuses from New York to OC participated in the action organized, in part, by Students for a National Health Program (SNHP), the future physicians who'll advocate for eternity trying to get a single-payer health system in the U.S.

When UCI medical students laid out in front of their School of Medicine's Medical Education building, they did so to say black lives matter not only in the criminal justice system but in health care as well.

"As future medical professionals, we are directly in contact with the system we work within and we are not doing the best to serve all of our communities," says Maryjane Vennat, a fourth-year medical student at UC Irvine. She helped to organize the local protest along with fellow student Melissa Perez.

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"We see the effects of structural violence and racism and we all want to be a part of the solution."

The #WhiteCoats4BlackLives protest is just the latest in a series of actions in OC that first started with a march and vigil in Santa Ana after a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Since then, Cal State Fullerton students marched from their campus to the Fullerton Police Station. More recently, the Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO) held a #BlackLivesMatter march to the US Federal Building in Santa Ana Monday afternoon.

Who says OC is complacent? March on!

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2

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