So here you are, enjoying your Monday Night Football on the most ridiculous holiday known to man — and that’s counting the fact that people celebrate an overweight white dude breaking into their homes to leave gifts — and you notice a strange series of tweets. Your favorite sports blogger is posting on-the-field updates of the Rams vs. 49ers game when suddenly you see this:
— Eddie Maisonet, III (@edthesportsfan) October 14, 2014
Wait, what? You’re watching the game live. You don’t see any of that. It looks like your usual football game. You keep scrolling your Twitter feed and you’re reading about #FergusonOctober protesters walking around the stadium with their hands up chanting, “Don’t shoot!” This, my friends, is what “no justice, no peace” means. It’s not just a fun chant. This is it in action. So let’s rewind. What’s going on here?
August 9th, 2014 officer Darren Wilson murdered unarmed teenager Michael Brown. More than one million tweets were sent before mainstream news covered this in primetime. The news begins to cover it, militarized police start tossing tear gas at people. In the words of legendary journalist and talented musician Ron Burgundy, “That escalated quickly”.
More than 60 days later, Darren Wilson still hadn’t been arrested, and we had deja vu (times a billion because this happens more often than any of us care to admit). August 8th, John Crawford was shot to death by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart while carrying a toy gun. On October 8th, 2014, Vonderrit Myers was walking home with his friends when police shot at him 17 times, killing him. Without debating the facts of the case, the end result is the same: Three young black men were killed by the police.
No arrests have been made. People are outraged. People have been protesting for literally 66 days straight. Then came #FergusonOctober. A wave of organization and newfound energy was ushered in. Protesters swelled to the thousands.
Protesters marched through neighborhoods. Protesters marched to the campus of St. Louis University. Protesters occupied City Hall. Protesters literally shut down Wal-Mart in a show of solidarity for justice for John Crawford. By the time protesters began chanting during the 49ers-Rams Monday Night Football game, other Wal-Marts preemptively closed for the evening. Protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony on October 5th.
The point is this: No justice. No peace. No justice, no shopping at your local Wal-Mart while ignoring the great injustice of black teens being killed by police at 21 times higher rates than white teens. No justice, no going about your daily job as a legislator in city hall while ignoring the concerns of your constituents.
— Alison Dreith (@alidreith) October 13, 2014
No justice, no attending college in a bubble, not thinking about the real-life events happening a block from your ivory tower. No justice, no attending the symphony and enjoying a nice night out. No justice, no football. You can’t just live your life ignorant of what’s going on. You can say you don’t care. You can’t say you didn’t know.
It’s interesting, but not surprising, that the disruption wasn’t broadcast on TV. But with the level of organization of this revolution, don’t expect to be able to censor or hide this movement for long. Justice is coming. Know justice, know peace.
A bundle of wizardry, chaos, and genius.