From NY to Atlanta, Michael Brown Protests Propel National Movement For Justice
The shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot multiple times by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, has sparked rallies and protests all across the nation with social media being a key factor in spreading awareness and documenting what has become a national movement for justice.
On Monday, organizers in Atlanta hope to bring the city together in solidarity with the national push for justice for Brown, the city of Ferguson, and the countless other African-American citizens who have lost their lives to police brutality and racial profiling.
A digital flyer promoting the march has been circulating on social media and encourages demonstrators to wear business casual attire and students to wear graduation caps and gowns.
“Ask the world, ‘How good must we look to be considered innocent?’” the flyer reads.
The march will begin in front of the CNN Center at 7 p.m. although protesters are asked to arrive by 6:30 pm.
For days, protests and marches have sparked all across the country, pushing hashtags such as #BeyondFerguson, #DontShoot, #ItsBiggerThanYou, #JusticeForMikeBrown, and more.
On Thursday, major cities including New York City, Atlanta, Los Angles, Boston, New Orleans and Chicago all held moments of silence for the slain teen.
That same night, a massive march took place in New York that “shut down Times Square,” according to the Daily Mail.
Stories about New York’s protest encouraged Atlanta demonstrators to approach Monday’s march with caution.
Protesters marched from Union Square to Times Square on Thursday and were met with aggressive police presence.
One New York protester, Tremont Poole, said he witnessed officers shoving women and young demonstrators despite the peaceful nature of the march.
Poole described the protesters as “one huge family,” but tensions rose when they were met by NYPD in Times Square.
“They were getting frustrated and pushing the protesters and all of that,” Poole told Atlanta Blackstar. “They were pushing older women, younger women, kids, it didn’t matter.”
Poole also said that many officers were confused about why the protesters were even there.
“I was sitting right in front of the police and they were like, ‘What are they even doing this for? What’s the point?'” Poole said. “They didn’t understand it. They were saying we were rioting, and all we were doing was marching peacefully having a good time.”
Poole is close friends with three protesters who were arrested after they entered a bank.
According to The Wire, the three men were trying to avoid the crowd, but were arrested for trespassing. They have since been released.
Despite several arrests made during the march in New York, Georgia supporters are not deterred from making their voices heard as well.
Several Georgia colleges and universities, including Georgia Southern and Georgia State University, are planing their own protests and have used social media to unite the student body.
Before Monday’s march, students from Georgia State University plan to come together at Hurt Park in downtown Atlanta for a group “#DontShoot picture.”
Meanwhile Georgia Southern students have organized their own rally on Monday from 11 am to 2 pm at The Union Rotunda.
Ashley Johnson, a senior at Georgia Southern, told Atlanta Blackstar that there is a clear message she hopes Americans receive from the nationwide protests.
“It’s time for us to stand up and come together,” she said. “Police brutality against Black bodies must come to an end.”
The rally’s flyer promoted the message, “Life isn’t black & white.”
On Sunday, demonstrators in Houston scheduled a supply donation drive for the protesters in Ferguson, and asked for members of the community to donate a variety of items including wet wipes, first aid supplies, face towels, hand sanitizer, personal umbrellas and more.