Protests in Ferguson have been continuing since the death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9th of this year. Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Members of Black Girls Rock, the Black Student Organization (BSO) and the Caribbean Society traveled to Ferguson, Missouri this weekend in support of revolutionary change for the African – American condition and to protest against police brutality toward people of Color.
The students visited the memorial of Vanderitt Myers Jr., who was shot 16 times by an off-duty police officer, who claims that the young man first fired shots at him during the altercation.
At the memorial, Sen. Maria Chappelle – Nadal, D – Mo., encouraged those gathered that in order for them change their situation, they have to first change their state of mind. “You have to believe in something or you will fall for anything. We are working extremely hard to bring justice for the young man that was shot and killed last night and for Michael Brown. But we have to first appreciate black lives before other can appreciate us.” Chapelle – Nadal said.
The students participated in a series of organized protests set up by the Ferguson October movement over the weekend. Some students participated as ambassadors in the protests and others were volunteers for the movement. They were able to witness the high tensions and outpour of emotions from the people in Missouri, and their determination to be acknowledged as humans and not animals.
Other out-of-state protesters also used this weekend of organized protests to stand up for what they believed in. They were able to express their thoughts and emotions and many of the participants were able to connect through their life experiences.
Rian Brown ’16, expressed she has been angered by the continuous killing of black people and apparent lack of change. She said that by coming to Ferguson, she was able to be a part of this fight for change and start to heal.
They also attended a Conference at the Chaifetz Arena, on the campus of the St. Louis University, which featured Rev. Traci Blackmon, Dr. Cornell West and others. Rev. Blackmon stated that for generations black people have been confusing access with ownership.
Blackmon referred to the Biblical story in Joshua 6 about the Walls of Jericho. She said that unless we tear the walls down like the Israelites did, [African – Americans] will never own anything. “We are here in Ferguson, people from across denominations and race to fight, because this time, the walls are going to be torn down.” Blackmon said.
The fight for black equality and recognition still goes on in Ferguson, Missouri, but the thirst for change is growing.