Demonstrations, protests, marches. Those three words have been on my mind since August 9, 2014 when Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. I admit that I have not yet gotten over Juror B37 in George Zimmerman’s case referring to peaceful protests as “riots.”
Times have changed, and most people may not know or remember why there is a difference in the words.
The citizens of Ferguson, Missouri were protesting and demonstrating. They were protesting because the name of the police officer had not been released and that he was not arrested. However, they were also demonstrating. They demonstrated against police harassment, injustice, and a system that oppresses, denies, and violates, their civil rights. They were demonstrating against the system that Darren Wilson freely used to take the life of an unarmed 18-year old and protesting because the system appears to be protecting Wilson.
What happened next is that law enforcement turned protests and demonstrations into marches. If the people did not want to do anything other than march, they were arrested. This week, live stream has consisted of watching reporters watch reporters until marchers came in the area where reporters were sequestered. In my opinion, that is not freedom and it certainly isn’t freedom of speech and right to assemble. Read the rest of this entry