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"Black Lives Matter" Protest Held In Downtown State College Amidst Arts Fest

Event organizer Susan Prill holds a sign to Arts Fest patrons saying "#EndWhiteSilence."
Erin Cassidy Hendrick

At Penn State’s Allen Street gates, about a dozen demonstrators held signs directed to the crowds taking in Arts Fest events. The signs had phrases like “White Silence = Violence” and “Black lives matter to me.”

Susan Prill organized the event. She and all the other demonstrators were white. She said, We’re not here to disrupt, we’re just here to get some more eyes on the message and try to get white people to continue the conversation.”

Prill said she wanted to make a statement to the thousands of people gathering for Arts Fest on the need for whites to stand up against racism. “It seems like after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, there was about a week of interest and then everyone got distracted by Pokemon Go.”   

Erin Cassidy Hendrick was an associate producer at WPSU. She produced the programs “BookMark” and “This I Believe” for the station.
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