The passion, emerging power of Black youth fuel demands for justice
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (FinalCall.com) – A moment borne out of angry Black youth facing heavily armed police officers, snarling police dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and armored military personnel carriers in the streets continues to grow into a movement.
Philosopher Dr. Cornel West, left, and another man are taken into custody after performing an act of civil disobedience at the Ferguson, Mo., police station Oct. 13, as hundreds continue to protest the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in August. In fact, tensions escalated last week when a white police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr., who authorities say shot at police before he was killed.
That moment has captured some of America’s attention and exposed the country’s oppressive policing, racial failures and national shame to the world.
“Missouri is the new Mississippi,” said Tef Poe, a young activist and hip hop artist from St. Louis.
Conditions and protests over two months in the streets of “New Mississippi” mushroomed into a weekend of civil disobedience, protests, marches rallies, prayers, hip hop performances and rebellion. The Weekend of Resistance, Oct 10-13, “#FergusonOctober,” drew young people, activists, organizers and elders from across the country.
Their presence flowed from Ferguson, Mo., a predominantly Black suburb, where Michael Brown was shot down by a White police officer in early August to St. Louis, which had a police shooting just before the gathering.
Youth protestors have taken to the streets to protest and demonstrate their anger and frustration with the shooting deaths of two young, Black men in Ferguson and St. Louis, Mo.
The Ferguson teenager’s body lay in the street for over four and a half hours and a swift, militarized police response stoked outrage and a backlash from Black youth fed up with racial profiling, humiliation, targeting and abuses by police. White officer Darren Wilson, who remains out of public view, shot the unarmed 18-year-old to death. Local police say the young man charged the officer after an encounter and struggle initiated because of jaywalking. Instead of ending up with a traffic citation, the teenager had at least six bullets pumped into his body. Witnesses screamed that the police were lying and an autopsy paid for by the family seemed to verify what witnesses said happened that Saturday afternoon. Mike Mike was shot with his hands up, said witnesses.
When social media beamed videotaped images around the country and the world—Black resistance had begun.