Chicagoans to Participate in National Moment of Silence on Thursday, August 14

Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—August 13, 2014. Chicagoans participating in tonight’s National Moment of Silence for victims of police brutality will gather at Daley Plaza at 6:00pm and join the national silent vigil at 6:20pm.  People will be gathering in at least 55 cities around the country to silently pay respect to those whose lives have been taken or forever altered by the brutality of the police state.  During the moment of silence, attendees will raise their arms in solidarity with Michael Brown, of Ferguson, Missouri, who was shot Saturday by police while his arms were raised in surrender.  Since Saturday, protestors in Ferguson have continued to confront police, with their arms raised in mock surrender, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” 

Some participants will carry cardboard signs bearing the names and ages of people from around the country who have fallen to police violence.  The brown cardboard signs are a show of solidarity with Michael Brown’s father, Louis Head, who held a cardboard sign in the immediate aftermath of his son’s death that read, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.” As local organizer Mariame Kaba wrote in her blog upon seeing the viral image of Head holding his sign, “the image is a declaration and an affirmation of humanity; a father making a way out of no way to insist that his son’s life mattered. A man standing before us devastated yet stoic holding a screaming sign announcing his son’s execution. Michael had kin. He was loved. The image is a declaration and affirmation of that too.”

After the moment of silence, local youth organizers from Black Youth Project 100 will speak, sing, and share poetry. 

As events in Ferguson continue to unfold, and police here in Chicago bring reinforcements from the state police, some community members want to see more solution building, and less aggressive policing.  “This crackdown mentality is part of the problem,” says organizer Kelly Hayes.  “It doesn’t work.  We see every day that it doesn’t work. Our young people get roughed up, harassed, and arrested over nothing, and things only get uglier.  Things will only get uglier until we stop trying to solve street violence with state violence.  It creates a culture of abuse, and we are seeing the product of that culture in the streets of Ferguson.”

Another local organizer, Georgette Kirkendall, expressed frustration with police violence and racial profiling, saying, “The silent vigil is an expression of love, mourning, and solidarity, but but once those quiet those quiet minutes have passed, we can’t remain silent.  As a community, we have to get loud, and I am ready to yell.”

Community member Jerica Jurado has been following events in Ferguson, and feels that the protestors use of their raised hands as a political statement is, by itself significant.  “I’m glad that imagery is spreading,” says Jurado.  “If the act of raising our hands can be transformed from an act of surrender to an act of resistance, that really says something about the inevitability of change.  It says that things can’t go on this way, and they won’t.” 

To keep up with this event on Twitter, follow the hashtag #NMOS14

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/358420444311713

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