Disrupting 'Daily Order,' Ferguson Walk-Outs to Hit Over 30 Cities
Under the banner of #HandsUpWalkOut, protesters nationwide condemn system 'that does not respect Black Lives'
On Monday afternoon, at the exact time of day that unarmed Missouri teen Michael Brown was shot by St. Louis police officer Darren Wilson, thousands of people in over 30 cities nationwide are expected to walk out of their classrooms and off their jobs in a mass demonstration to say: "This is not over."
Under the name #HandsUpWalkOut, the actions are set to begin at 1:01 PM EST. The demonstration is a national response to last week's non-indictment of Wilson, as well as the recent killings of Akai Gurley in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, according to local organizers Ferguson Action.
Following the November 24 grand jury announcement, grassroots groups expressing both solidarity with those recent victims of racial violence and condemnation of the lack of justice have staged marches, blockades, as well as protests during annual shopping bonanza Black Friday.
"The message is clear: No more business as usual," said Ferguson Action on their site. "We can no longer do what we have always done and cooperate with a system that does not respect Black Lives. We will only get the change we want if we disrupt the daily order and insists that Black Lives Matter. If that means shutting down the entire country, that’s what we’ll do."
Images of the demonstrations are being shared online under the hashtag #HandsUpWalkOut. For a list of solidarity actions nationwide you can go here.
During the Monday walkout, protesters are asked to gather at a location with some relevance to social justice and read out the names of those lives recently lost to police violence. Organizers are hoping that the meetings will galvanize local communities and spur future actions calling for a change to policing practices.
Also Monday, President Obama is planning to hold a series of meetings in response to the ongoing outrage since the August 9 killing of Michael Brown. Obama will first meet with his Cabinet to evaluate federal programs and funding which have facilitated the rapid militarization of local police forces. Afterwards, he will meet with local and national civil rights leaders along with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law enforcement officials, to discuss "how communities and law enforcement can work together," according to the White House.
On Sunday, five members of Ferguson's hometown National Football League team, the St. Louis Rams, also signaled their solidarity with the movement when they walked on the field holding their hands in the air in what has become the signature "hands up, don't shoot" icon of the Ferguson protests.