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General News    H1'ed 12/11/14

White Coat "Die-Ins" by Medical Students Highlight Police Brutality

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Here are some pictures from the event:

Die-In at Mount Sinai, NYC
Die-In at Mount Sinai, NYC
(Image by Julia Jeffries)
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Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical College of Wisconsin
(Image by meaghanmcb/Twitter)
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University of Minnesota Medical School
University of Minnesota Medical School
(Image by enFOURcer1914/Twitter)
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Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University
(Image by cissabelle/Instagram)
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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
(Image by yaqster/Instagram)
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JB: Great pictures from all over the place! How did passersby and patients react to your Die-In? Any comments or reactions? Did anyone walk by as if nothing unusual was going on?

JJ: I heard from some people afterwards that a few people asked why this was necessary. However, most of what I heard from people passing by was very positive. People even joined us in the protest and were very thankful at the end. There were also a number of people just observing, filming, and taking pictures.

JB: I sort of assumed that many medical students would identify more with the medical establishment, which is decidedly conservative. I'm delighted to see this kind of activism. On the other hand, this was endorsed by Students for a National Health Program which is affiliated with Physicians for a National Health Program. And they have been pretty outspoken about health-related issues, particularly the need for universal health care. Is that how you got involved in this, Julia, through SNHP?

Yes, that is how I got involved. We got a press contact from there and he sent out the press release for us that was written. We also used that as a template to encourage people to get in touch with local news sources.

JB: Who participated today in the Mount Sinai Die-In? Was it primarily minorities or a more diverse crowd? More first year students than not?

JJ: I would definitely say it was a diverse crowd. There were people of all races and from different years. The crowd pulled from very different parts of the Sinai community, which was nice to see.

JB: Yes, diversity is good and especially in this case. I noticed a number of pretty creative signs featured in the demonstrations. Besides "Do No Harm", I saw "Silence Does Harm", "They Tried to Bury Us, They Didn't Realize We Were Seeds", "Hands Up, Don't Shoot", "I Can't Breathe" and "#WhiteCoats4BlackLives" which was the name of this initiative. Did you see anything particularly creative either at your Die-In or at others?

JJ: I really liked "Do No Harm" and "Racism Happens Here," both of which I saw here at Sinai. We take an oath to do no harm to our future patients and understanding that systemic racism is a form of harm and calling it out is I think an effective way to start thinking about how we can provide better care.

JB: Again, I agree with you; it's all connected. What now? Will you build on what you accomplished today or was this a one-time thing?

JJ: The plan is definitely to build on what we accomplished today. People here and around the country are energized and the 'die-ins' today proved that people care and that students can make things happen.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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