J O H N ET T A E L Z I E
Tonight we will be brave.
Mike Brown, Kajieme Powell, Vonderitt Myers: rest in power, young kings.
You ask me, “What about property?”, my rebuttal will always be, “What about people?”
Take your tricks elsewhere.
America doesn’t know what to do when it can’t consciously call black people property, so there’s this obsession with buildings instead of people.
Don’t ask me anything else about fucking spray paint on a wall unless we’re going to talk about graffiti WORLDWIDE.
Ferguson is a community full of babies, children, teenagers, young adults, and elders. A neighborhood in mourning, greeted by a clear violation of their human rights.
I am upset to know that my people seem to not even have the right to hurt, to feel, to care, to show love, to be with one another, or to mourn the loss of another Black life. Watching children, teenagers and elderly people running for their lives with rubber bullets flying and hitting people anywhere on their body,
is heartbreaking. When I close my eyes at night, I see people running from tear gas in their own neighborhood. It’s a haunting experience to remember– running and hiding from the police, trying to stay alive
I didn’t expect to go from a peaceful protester trying to attend a vigil for a young teen gunned down, to a modern day freedom rider. But I am prepared to stay the course and fight as long as we must.
Being shot at with rubber bullets, having M-16s aimed at me, seeing armored vehicles and being tear gassed just showed me we must be able to fight for our constitutional rights without being terrorized by the police. That’s initially when I became upset and angry with everything that was going on.
We are being painted as violent, but when you look at photos: Who’s been showing up with gear? Who’s been showing up with weapons? It’s been the police.
I was told by police officers if I crossed an invisible line they created in front of the Clayton Justice Center, I would be arrested. I looked down to where the officer pointed his finger and walked over the line with my hands up, chanting “This is what democracy looks like.” I was held, processed, booked and released within a few hours.
This is what taking a stand looks like. This is what fighting for your life, and the lives of those to come after you, looks like.
I wake up every morning, fighting the best way I know how. I wake up each morning, fighting to prevent another family from having to grieve the loss of their child due to his or her skin color. I fight for justice for this young man, because his parents deserve the moment they are able to finally grieve, peacefully, for their child.
I fight because it is my duty.
D E R A Y M C K E S S O N
We protest because we have fought back tears for long enough — now we fight the system. We protest so that our hearts won’t split wide open from the pain of loving dead children.
It is not that we are unafraid of jail or death. It is that we are more afraid of the cost of silence in America.
I don’t have my bag with my glasses. Nose running. Eyes sting. Tear gas.
Daddy, your love made me understand the transformative power of love and grace. Every time we are together, I know joy.
I actually just want to cry. I want to cry because of all of the rage of being an American and being tear gassed. I AM HEARTBROKEN TO BE AN AMERICAN. MY FACE BURNS. MY EYES WATER. I AM AN AMERICAN. BUT I’M BLACK.
Tear gas stings. And it stings to be an American tonight. Heartbroken. See, that’s what I get for thinking I was ever safe. I was literally in the coffee shop sitting down on the phone. Then, tear gas
M O L L Y G R I E D E R
“It is well with my soul” has been playing in my head, despite my anxiety. We are on the side of freedom & of hope
My thoughts are with Ms. McSpadden, Mr. Brown & their families. Mike Brown should be alive. Darren Wilson should be in jail.
My thoughts are with my city. And everyone in it.
I feel for the business owners and their employees who will suffer.
I feel for those whose anger manifested itself in property damage. Their actions are not okay, but their rage is justified.
My thoughts are with all of the black women, men & children who’ve been told again and again that they are less than.
To those who that night put their history on their backs, to those who took lightning and thunder into their hands, to those whose boots were shod with the future, to those who covered their faces, and to those who, without asking anything in return, walked and fought through the long nights so that others, everyone, on a morning still to come, will be able to see the day as it should be seen, that is to say, from the front, standing, and with an upright gaze and heart.
“For them we cry, Freedom! Freedom! FREEDOM! May our steps be as great as our dead.”
Marcos, Member of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)
They call us thieves, but we did not rob and murder millions of Indians by ripping off their homeland, then call ourselves pioneers. They call us bandits, but it is not we who are robbing Africa, Asia, and Latin America of their natural resources and freedom while the people who live there are sick and starving. The rulers of this country and their flunkies have committed some of the most brutal, vicious crimes in history. They are the bandits. They are the murderers. And they should be treated as such. These maniacs are not fit to judge me or any other Black person on trial in amerika.