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Die-in at the Queer Liberation March, 2019, in Manhattan
Die-in protest against 2003 invasion of Iraq in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.
Die-in by I BIKE Dublin at Dublin City Council, 2019, in Dublin

A die-in, sometimes known as a lie-in, is a form of protest in which participants simulate being dead.[1] Die-ins are actions that have been used by a variety of protest groups on topics such as animal rights,[2] anti-war, human rights,[3] AIDS,[4] gun control,[5] and environmental issues.[6] Often, protestors occupy an area for a short time instead of being forced to leave by the police.

In the simplest form of a die-in, protesters simply lie down on the ground and pretend to be dead, sometimes covering themselves with signs or banners.[6] The point of a die-in is to disrupt the flow of people on a street or sidewalk to grab the attention of passersby.[7]

In more complex forms, fake blood or blood-stained bandages are sometimes used, as well as simulated death throes and writhing from the protesters in an attempt to make the deaths appear more realistic. In other cases, protesters have surrounded the "bodies" in chalk outlines reminiscent of the troped outlines around murder victims. This has been done as an attempt to symbolize that the organization being protested against has "murdered" people.[4] Sometimes, part of the protesting group makes speeches about what is being protested while the rest of the group lies on the ground.[7]

On 22 April 2006, thousands of protesters lay in the Francisco de Miranda avenue in Caracas, Venezuela, to protest against crime and insecurity during Hugo Chávez's government in a protest by Movimiento Estudiantil called "Acuéstate por la vida" (Lie Down for Life).[8]

On September 15, 2007, several thousand protested the Iraq war at the Capitol at Washington D.C. Hundreds "sprawled on the ground" on the Capitol lawn at the die-in. Over 190[9] were arrested, including ten veterans of the Iraq war.[10]

The die-in has been used to protest police brutality in the United States. It has been used by organizers in Ferguson, Missouri to protest the St. Louis Police Department's handling of Michael Brown's fatal shooting case in 2014, in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area to protest the killing of Eric Garner, and in Chicago to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.[11][12][13]

On December 15, 2018, more than 100 members of the Cambridge division of the international social movement Extinction Rebellion staged a die-in in the Cambridge city centre, to call upon the official county and city authority declaration of a climate emergency.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Blythe, Anne. "Former N.C. resident takes a stand against easy gun access". News Observer. The News & Observer Publishing Company. Retrieved 16 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ The DxE Die-In - Killing is no Kindness (raw footage), retrieved 2019-10-23
  3. ^ Donatella Della Porta; Abby Peterson; Herbert Reiter (2006). The Policing of Transnational Protest. Ashgate Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7546-2676-3.
  4. ^ a b Thomas Vernon Reed (2005). The Art Of Protest: Culture And Activism From The Civil Rights Movement To The Streets Of Seattle. U of Minnesota Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-8166-3770-6.
  5. ^ Washingtion, Jesse. "In gun debate, two sides speak different languages". Associated Press. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b Sharon J. Smith (22 February 2011). The Young Activist's Guide to Building a Green Movement and Changing the World. Random House. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-60774-016-2.
  7. ^ a b Mark Andersen; Mark Jenkins (2003). Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital. Akashic Books. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-888451-44-3.
  8. ^ ""Acuéstate por la vida"... y se acostaron" (in Spanish). La República. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  9. ^ More Than 190 Arrested at D.C. Protest, Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, September 16, 2007
  10. ^ Dueling Demonstrations As Thousands March to Capitol to Protest Iraq Conflict, 189 Arrested; War Supporters Take on 'Vocal Minority' Michelle Boorstein, V. Dion Haynes and Allison Klein, The Washington Post, Sunday, September 16, 2007; Page A08, Retrieved September 16, 2007
  11. ^ In Ferguson, Tactics Set for Grand Jury Decision in Michael Brown Case, John Eligon, Julie Bosman and Monica Davey, The New York Times, Monday, November 16, 2014; Retrieved November 16, 2014
  12. ^ Oakland, S.F. protesters denounce police killing of Eric Garner, Vivian Ho, Peter Fimrite and Kale Williams, "San Francisco Chronicle", Wednesday, December 3, 2014
  13. ^ Chicago activists stage 'die-in' outside President Obama's South Side home, Craig Wall, "Fox 32 Chicago", Friday, July 8, 2016
  14. ^ "Chants and applause as more than 100 protesters stage march and die-in in Cambridge's city centre". Cambridgeshire Live. December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
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