BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Students gathered for a sign-making session at LSU's African-American Cultural Center Thursday night. It was two days after Alton Sterling, a man selling CDs and DVDs in a convenience store parking lot was shot by Baton Rouge police officers.
The room was filled with people around tables, drawing on poster board. There was talk about the events of the past couple of days, the local demonstrations at the site of the shooting, the national exposure on media, and even Twitter's furious tweets.
There were close to a hundred people in the room, and LSU student Aryanna Prasad, who attended the event, said she felt feelings being put to poster board.
Prasad had talked with the organizers, who said, "They told me that they just wanted a place to bring people together, people from all over town and not just the LSU community, and bring them there and of course people are making signs, they have those materials, but also, just being able to meet other people. And just kind of feel like you're in sort of a community and network."
Participants there were mostly LSU students, but there were community activists and LSU employees. A few people even stood up and spoke. The LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs had a representative there.
They did not try to dictate what went on the signs. Aryanna said people welcomed the chance to just let the ink flow.
"I actually saw a lot of people sitting down and making signs and I know, I'm not the most artistic person, but I saw people who were like 'Hey, I'm just gonna write what I think' and just kind write things out in script," Prasad said. "There were people got more creative obviously. I thought it was really cool that as you make your own sign, you bring your own personality to it.'"
Some signs were self-censored with a visual sign of a bleep where an expletive might be.
"Honestly, I think a lot of it was about police brutality in general, and Alton Sterling and what happened in that case and everything that's emerged. I think, to many people it feels like one of many, a systemic kind of problem," Prasad said. "People are speaking out about that problem. Police brutality, profiling African-Americans."
She said that organizers want to let this group organize if they want to. But for now, the signs will come to good use. Prasad said many participants were planning on demonstrating Saturday, July 9.
There is an announced protest organized by "Don't Shoot," a community organization. It will be at 2 p.m. outside the Baton Rouge Police Department at 9000 Airline Highway.
Organizers of the march want to assure prosecution of the Baton Rouge police officers. As the U.S. Attorney's investigation of the shooting death is underway.