Seeing tents pitched on Duke University’s campus is not uncommon — but this time students aren’t sleeping outside for basketball tickets.
In a cross-campus effort, members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapters from UNC and Duke are indefinitely occupying Duke’s Chapel Quad.
Students built a “mock prison” to show support for an ongoing hunger strike taking place among Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Prashanth Kamalakanthan, a junior political science major and chairman of Duke’s SDS chapter, organized the event to increase the issue’s visibility.
“Really, some of the most fundamental rights are being trampled,” he said.
“This is to show that we’re not going to stay silent as this is happening.”
Kamalakanthan said more than half of the prison population at Guantanamo is participating in the strike. Some of the strikers, he said, are being force-fed nasally — a form of force-feeding that the United Nations considers torture.
“The detainees are becoming increasingly suicidal and desperate, and we wanted to show support,” he said.
Kate Jones, a senior history major at UNC and member of SDS, participated in the demonstration on Monday.