This powerful video above shows Ferguson residents and business owners preparing for the Darren Wilson decision.
Over the weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, a couple hundred demonstrators gathered in the streets in protest. These passionate protestors decided on a different approach and laid down in the street outside a downtown theater, pretending to have been shot by other protestors who pretended to be police officers. Their intention was to evoke the same emotions from the Mike Brown shooting that took place a little over three months ago in Ferguson, Missouri. They called this dramatic protest a “die-in.”
According to Reuters, Marchers went on to briefly block a major intersection near Washington University and the event ended without any of the violence that seen in Ferguson following Brown’s shooting death by police officer Darren Wilson. “This is a mature movement. It is a different movement that it was in August. Then it just had anger, justifiable anger. Now we are organized. We are strategizing. And we are going to bring our message to the power structure,” said DeRay McKesson, a 29-year-old protest leader.
Tensions mount while the grand jury continues to deliberate whether to bring criminal charges to Mike Brown’s killer. Residents are fearful that waves of riots similar to those that erupted when Brown was initially killed will happen again if Wilson isn’t charged, so they are preparing, as the video above shows.
The grand jury’s decision is expected in the coming days and many of the Mike Brown supporter groups are preparing with intricate precision to protest the no-indictment vote most consider inevitable. The New York Times is reporting that organizers are outlining “rules of engagement” for dealing with the police, circulating long lists of equipment, including bandages and shatterproof goggles, and establishing “safe spaces” or “hot spots” where protesters can escape the cold — or the tear gas.
Organizers say they want their efforts here to blossom into a lasting, national movement. They hope for the protests to be forceful, loud and unrelenting, but without the looting or arson that could undermine their message. But they also know that some of the supporters may be more volatile and harder to control.
“We’ve decided not to wait for that decision. We’ve decided to get started,” said Rockit Ali, a 22-year-old organizer of the die-on. “Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice. The rioting and looting, while I didn’t participate in it, was necessary. Without it we would not be standing here today,” Ali said. “There is no revolution without violence.” An interesting thought from a young protestor who is weary of seeing our young Black men being gunned down without justice being served.
The moments before Mike Brown’s untimely death are being heavily debated. Many eye witnesses share the same experience of seeing Brown with his hands held up in compliance (which spared the #HandsUpDontShoot movement) to Wilson’s requests, while many doubters claim that Brown attacked Wilson.
We’d hate to see what would happen if Darren Wilson doesn’t get indicted. We’re on Ferguson watch.