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Grand Rapids gathers for Michael Brown and solidarity with Ferguson protests

By Tom Burke |
August 17, 2014
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A grandmother speaks about police harassment in solidarity with Mike Brown
A grandmother speaks about police harassment in solidarity with Mike Brown (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Grand Rapids, MI - 100 people gathered in solidarity with the African American community of Ferguson, Missouri and to remember police shooting victim Michael Brown, Aug 16. Organized by two African American women, the crowd stood with their hands up so photographers could take photos on Calder Plaza. During the second round of photos outside Grand Rapids City Hall, the crowd chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

One of the women leading the event spoke, “I am the mother of a teenage boy who attends Catholic Central High School and he has a 4.0 grade point average. We are very proud of him, but he does not go downtown alone, because we do not know what might happen to a young African American man.”

Next, a grandmother said, “I cannot drive through East Grand Rapids without being stopped by the police.” She went on to explain, “I am a single Black female, 60 years old, 4:00 in the morning, why would I become the aggressor? So it happens. It is not only Black males, but my daughter and my granddaughter too.”

After the crowd photos, people stood in groups discussing what to do next. With the encouragement of members of the Keep Pushin Brand, youth organizer Joy Grant explained, “There is a fund right now for the students in Ferguson because they shut down school, and most of the students get food from school. So they have a fund to get dinners and lunches out.”