A photoset of recent protests, some of which are still in progress.
1) London, England - Million Mask March, November 05th 2014
2) Ferguson, Missouri - Protests over the murder of Mike Brown, an unarmed black youth, by police. August-October 2014 (The Brown family have taken their case to the grand jury in Geneva, Switzerland and are awaiting a verdict.)
3) Belgium - 100,000 march against government austerity measures (protests ongoing.)
4) Mexico - the Mexican people march to demand answers for the 43 student teachers who went missing on 26th September and have not been seen since. It is believed that corrupt police officers handed the men over to one of Mexico’s many criminal gangs and that they were killed. (Protests ongoing.)
5) France - protests in France over police brutality after the murder of 21 year old activist Remi Fraisse during a protest against the building of a controversial dam (Protests ongoing.)
6) Hong Kong - protest for reform of democracy (Protests ongoing.)
“We were having breakfast in Nassau. George came in; he was still in his pajamas, had just awakened. I wasn’t taking pictures at breakfast, or not intending to, and he looked so totally undefended, and different from any time I’d seen him that I said, ‘George, I gotta take a picture.’” - Henry Grossman, CBS This Morning, 23 March 2013
the Black Lives Matter Korea March and Vigil pt. I
as you guys know, the Black Life Matters Korea march and vigil was two weekends ago, on December 13th. i asked Sherita Rogers, the woman responsible for initiating and spearheading this event, about the creation of the march and vigil, and how it was put together:
“I was talking to friends the Friday of the 5th and I saw Seoul’s Michael Brown Vigil was scheduled for that Saturday and realistically I would not be able to financially make a trip up there. So I reached out to three people plus a friend who’s wife (who is over Brown and Busan, the Org, I planned the Awareness March and Vigil through) was in the hospital giving birth at the time. They are Tony (Courtney) Wong, Christy Swain, Rachel Werz and Marit Turner. I did it, because I was tired of just posting the wrong I was seeing on facebook, I was tired of being a silent voice and I am ultimately tired. I also realized I struggled with see what was tearing my group apart at home while I was living abroad.
I also know Busan has a large community of Expats and a good percentage of minorities that are still unknown to the Korean Community, so I wanted to 1. Put my face out there for them to see and 2. Express that the images they may see on television aren’t the whole picture of black population in the US.”
those who came met at Table Talk English Cafe in KSU to make posters [which i sadly missed]. after that, everyone assembled outside where Sherita got on the megaphone and gave us some instructions as to what we were going to do, reminded us we wanted to accomplish, and with the help of a Korean volunteer taught us one of the Korean chants, “소중한 흑인 생명”.
in a facebook post the day before, Sherita told us:
"This is NOT A PROTEST, it’s a March and Awareness Vigil. It’s intention is to bring an awareness to the community abroad about what is happening in the United States. It’s intent is to show a unified community against inequality. We have the cooperation of the police and the community, and an agreement the participants will have a peaceful demonstration throughout the event".
i met the others outside of the cafe feeling really vulnerable, feeling like i was on the edge of breaking down. as we began to walk side by side, chanting and raising signs and voices i started to warm up and feel stronger, that i wasn’t alone. employees and officers with the Busan Police department marched in front, and alongside us, stopping cars and holding traffic on the side streets so that we could cross together as one group.
many people just stared on, possibly because they couldn’t understand what was going on, or they were just surprised to see a group of foreigners walking down the street in a march, but not all of them did. there were some 아줌마’s and 아저씨’s standing on the side of the road, on scooters waiting for us to cross the street, and peeking out of stores who silently acknowledged us and what we had to say. a head nod, a smile, and even one older woman who pumped her fist along with our chant. one young woman stood to the side and yelled “화이팅!!” as we passed by. i think it meant a lot to us, that our message was being received, and accepted by locals.
we eventually made it to the beach and started the vigil. Sherita read us some facts about percentages of people sent to jail, frisked, and searched based on their race/ethnicity.
“Police killings by race: 1.47 million whites, 31.17 million blacks between the ages of 15 and 19 [according to a federal study from 2010 to 2012].”
after that, some volunteers came forward to read poems, excerpts, and shared their personal thoughts. afterwards, we lit candles and had a moment of silence for 4 minutes and 30 seconds, to represent the 4 and a half hours that Mike Brown’s body lay on the ground after he was murdered. when the moment of silence was finished, two children came forward, and with Sherita read the names of innocent Black victims of violence from 1955 to today, including Emmett Till. afterwards we blew out our candles, and those who stayed shuffled over to HQ to warm up and talk about the events of the day. i’ll post the videos i have of the vigil on here within the next week after editing them.
overall, i think we accomplished our goal. there was a good number of people who came together considering the event was put together in about a week, and we did attract quite a bit of attention. it was uplifting seeing some positive responses and support for our message, and i think when everything was said and done, our hearts felt a tiny bit lighter.