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, against traffic violence,[3] human rights,[4] AIDS,[5] gun control,[6] racism,[7] abortion, and environmental issues.[8] Often, protestors occupy an area for a short time instead of being forced to leave by the police.

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

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.[8] The point of a die-in is to disrupt the flow of people on a street or sidewalk to grab the attention of passers-by.[9]

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.[5] Sometimes, part of the protesting group makes speeches about what is being protested while the rest of the group lies on the ground.[9]



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).[10]

On September 15, 2007, several thousand protested the Iraq war at the Capitol at Washington D.C. Hundreds "lay on the ground" on the Capitol lawn at the die-in. Over 190[11] were arrested, including ten veterans of that war.[12]

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.[13][14][15]

On December 15, 2018, more than 100 members of the Cambridge division of international social movement Extinction Rebellion did this in the university city centre, to call the county and city authorities to declare a climate emergency.[16]

Die-in against ecological collapse by Extinction Rebellion in Natural History Museum, London

After the murder of George Floyd in the United States in June 2020, many demonstrations included lie-ins lasting for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time initial reports said Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck.[17]

On June 5, 2020, a die-in was staged outside Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Chief Adviser house in London to protest the Dominic Cummings scandal, in which former adviser Dominic Cummings made journeys stretching the rules of the UK's national lockdown.[18]

See also



  1. ^ Blythe, Anne. "Former N.C. resident takes a stand against easy gun access". News Observer. The News & Observer Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  2. ^ The DxE Die-In - Killing is no Kindness (raw footage), archived from the original on 2021-12-12, retrieved 2019-10-23
  3. ^ History of Cycling in the Netherlands
  4. ^ Porta, Donatella Della; Peterson, Abby; Reiter, Herbert (2006). The Policing of Transnational Protest. Ashgate Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7546-2676-3.
  5. ^ a b Reed, Thomas Vernon (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.
  6. ^ Washington, Jesse. "In gun debate, two sides speak different languages". Associated Press. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  7. ^ Mirzoeff, Nicholas D. (2015-08-10). "#BlackLivesMatter Is Breathing New Life Into the Die-In". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Sharon J. (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.
  9. ^ a b Andersen, Mark; Jenkins, Mark (2003). Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital. Akashic Books. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-888451-44-3.
  10. ^ ""Acuéstate por la vida"... y se acostaron" (in European Spanish). La República. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  11. ^ More Than 190 Arrested at D.C. Protest, Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, September 16, 2007
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ Oakland, S.F. protesters denounce police killing of Eric Garner, Vivian Ho, Peter Fimrite and Kale Williams, "San Francisco Chronicle", Wednesday, December 3, 2014
  15. ^ Chicago activists stage 'die-in' outside President Obama's South Side home Archived 2017-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, Craig Wall, "Fox 32 Chicago", Friday, July 8, 2016
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Wehelie, Benazir; Woodyatt, Amy (June 3, 2020). "'I can't breathe': Hundreds lie down in protest". CNN. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  18. ^ "Coronavirus: 'Die-in' outside Dominic Cummings's house over COVID-19 response". Sky News. 5 June 2020.