The officer confronted a crowd of activists who had begun locking arms and chanting in protest over the way he forcefully detained a 14-year-old. “The crowd was determined that the youth would NOT be harmed or killed and were fierce, as we know it’s a real possibility,” explained one witness, Kimberly Ellis.
Doing social change work is scary and will make you uncomfortable; it will change you, for better or for worse. But that’s part of what showing up and taking a stand means. And what choice do we have?
While protests engulfed Baltimore after a young Black man suffered fatal injuries in police custody in April, a Maryland lawmaker suggested that the state should ban public assistance to those participating in the uprising, which he dubbed “thug nation.”
After opening remarks that claimed Obama had just announced “one of the biggest constitutional power grabs ever by a president” that gave immigrants “gifts” in the form of temporary work authorization and deportation protection, about a dozen protesters stood up to hold signs and tell their stories.
The lawsuits seek the full incident report from the Michael Brown shooting and an order preventing the Ferguson, Missouri, police department from blocking citizens and the media from filming police activities.
Obama said that there is no excuse for violence against police or for vandalism and looting, but that there is also no excuse for using excessive force against peaceful protesters who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
I don’t remember ever seeing the word “gentle” used to describe queer activism in the ’90s, anti-war marches in the 2000s, or the Occupy movement in 2011, even though those activists have a much more “gentle” record than anti-choice protesters do.
Cecily McMillan is now on trial for defending herself at an Occupy Wall Street protest after she felt someone grab her breast. McMillan’s decision to fight back—both immediately after she was groped and now, in court—is brave, and sends a powerful message that women should not be blamed for defending themselves.
Most people see them as they are and most people disagree with their beliefs and with their tactics.