I arrived in the US a few days ago, in St. Louis, MO. I met up with my activists friends to participate in the commemoration of the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in the suburbs of Ferguson August 9, 2014. That day, the face of the unarmed African American teenager, killed at the hands of a white policeman became the symbol of the struggle against police violence.
A year later, Sunday August 9, activists from around the country came together to remind the world of the banal cruelty of the loss of hundreds of Black lives, snatched with impunity in a most brutal and inhuman manner. Between emotion and reverence, in a heavily spiritual atmosphere, grave faces surrounded the families of victims of police crimes.
Several hundred people, some young, some not so young, Americans of diverse origins, all observed four and a half minutes of silence (a painful echo of the four and a half hours that Michael Brown’s body laid on the ground when no help was allowed near him) before going to the Greater St. Mark’s Church.
That same evening, the Police shot another 18 year-old boy.
The next morning, during a peaceful demonstration by church representatives, there was a massive and incredible arrest of 57 people including Dr. Cornel West and my friend, the activist Rahiel Tesfamariam.
I’ll keep you posted on the latest this week-end in my latest article for REGARDS. I’ll also tell you about women activist who are making a difference – the Rosa Parkses of today – in an upcoming issue of the French ELLE.
Translated by Alberta Wilson