If you are not aware of the Ferguson case and protests by now, you must live literally under a rock. So I will not go through the facts which you probably already know. I want to make a full post on this issue, but as of now there is still information coming forward, protests and news developing, and sadly, the killer of an unarmed boy walking the streets. (Yes, today, the killer Darren Wilson has escaped indictment. Sign here to take the ‘Ferguson case’ to the Missouri Supreme Court)
I have been very moved by how such a community has come together over this. People get shot all the time, sadly, people of colour are often the victims, so why now – in this particular case – has it caused such a huge after-effect? Whatever the reason, it is good. People are angry and they want justice, and three months after the murder people are not letting anyone forget what has happened.
Every single day since August 9th my Tumblr dashboard has been filled with posts about Ferguson – petitions, donations, protest times, photographs, poems, songs, news; anything and everything has been on there from people everywhere. Other equally upsetting and disgusting cases have been brought back into the light, and other killers have been revealed. The people are standing up for what they believe in and they will not let this go.
But what can you do to help? Sadly, I’m in England, and there are no protests or anything happening around here. Otherwise I would undoubtedly be at them. But if you are in the US there are protests everywhere and there are other ways anyone can help too. There are so many petitions to sign which I will link below and above all just raise awareness. Keep mentioning Ferguson, keep hashtagging, keep Tweeting, don’t let anyone forget about it. Above all, do not let the media sway you – although media claims to be unbiased and sometimes is, videos and reports will show violent protest or try to justify brutality. All you need is to look on Tumblr or Facebook or Instagram to see the other side of things – the side where people simply peacefully protesting a young man’s unfair death are being attacked. And don’t let various differing narratives of the account phase you: whatever the specifics, a police officer shot an unarmed 18 year old boy. That is not okay in any scenario.
In Ferguson at present there are peaceful protests and sit-ins going on. A lot of which are being dealt with with violent backlash from the police – especially with the use of tear gas on protestors. There have been numerous reports of this, even in situations where protestors are simply sitting in cafes. Tear gas is banned in warfare – yet appropriate to use on innocent civilians?! Protestors are carrying around gas masks – this should not be necessary!
Things to remember when protesting:
– Take a gas mask and know how to protect yourself against tear gas (learn how here)
– Take warm, protective clothing
– Take food and water
– Be peaceful. Be angry and make yourself heard, but be peaceful.
– You are allowed to film and photograph Police. As long as you do not obstruct what they are doing, and do not try to hide the camera/ phone, you are allowed to do this. If they ask why, here are the correct responses…
– Stay safe and let people know where you are going.
Read The Guardian’s coverage of the protests and summary of events:
Ferguson master post with articles, videos, facts etc.
Blog showing all planned protests and responses (all countries):
I hope this has informed or helped in some way. My thoughts go out to everyone in Ferguson, especially the friends and family of Mike Brown. And remember, white privilege is me being outraged by all this, not being scared for my life.