Silence prevailed at MU's Hands Up, Don't Shoot march

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 11:03 p.m. CDT; updated 9:21 a.m. CDT, Thursday, August 28, 2014

Michael Brown Silent March from Columbia Missourian on Vimeo.

COLUMBIA — As the protesters marched through MU's campus Wednesday some raised one fist in the air. Some raised both hands in symbolic surrender. Some raised signs bearing messages such as "Justice for Mike Brown." But all were silent.

The Hands Up, Don't Shoot march was planned by various MU groups and organizations, including the Legion of Black Collegians and the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. It was held to remember Michael Brown, but many protesters hope the march will do more than that. They saw it as a call to action and a way for community members to coalesce around ideas bigger than any one person.

The silence was a choice. Protesters didn't want anything to distract from the march itself.

"Our presence alone should stir up the community around us, so we wanted to be visible," said Naomi Daugherty, one of the organizers of the event.

MU senior Briana Sparks emphasized that the events in Ferguson should concern everyone.

"I want people to realize that this is a people issue," Sparks said. "Not a black issue or an ageist issue, but a people issue."

Freshman Sammie Arnold saw the march as a way to empower those who often feel left out of the national conversation.

"The march shows us as American citizens have a voice," he said. "A lot of people overlook that and think their voice doesn't matter."

Ashley Bland, a junior who helped organize the march, stressed that young people have more power than they sometimes realize.

"Even as students we can be active in legislation and make changes," she said.

Junior Corie Wilkins saw the protest at MU as part of a larger, longer national struggle.

"I hope that the march has the same impact as marches in big cities have had in the past, to show our solidarity," Wilkins said. "Not necessarily that we're marching in the same place, but that we're marching for the same goals."

The organizations involved with the protest on Wednesday are planning future events as well, including a joint trip to a town hall meeting.

"This is one of many things we're going to do," Sparks said. "This is just the beginning."

Supervising editor is Landon Woodroof.



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Skip Yates August 28, 2014 | 7:00 p.m.

A leader and speaker was a MU professor Scott Brooks, Sociology and Black Studies. I would think he had the real university leadership role. But things are not what they always may seem to be. The "gentle giant" is seen robbing a convenience store of those small cigars. Any high school sophomore call tell you what they are for, making blunts. After the gentle giant and his buddy left the store, he returned and shoved the clerk into a display rack. I don't think the professor mentioned this. Soon thereafter there was the incident with the police officer. Michael Brown's partner in crime said that Michael was running from the officer and shot in the back, and then had his hands up saying "I'm unarmed, don't shoot"...which has become the rallying cry. Turns out, there is a conversation on tape of two brothers discussing what happened and one says "he kept, coming and coming" at the officer. I don't think the professor mentioned that. Autopsy shows all shots were from the front, no hits in the back, disputing his friends claim. I don't think the professor mentioned that. Autopsy also showed he had weed in his system (might explain his behavior). I don't think the professor mentioned that. The officer had a severe facial injury, not one in which he could have accidentally hit his head on the steering wheel, or something similar. Follows the police report of the officer being attacked. I don't think the professor mentioned that. He was shot 4 times in the right arm, and twice in the head. Anyone familiar with shooting knows that shots to the left are a result of jerking a trigger...unlike what the officer was trained in shooting for body mass. Sort of what you would do in a panic situation. Like being attacked. The head shot which bought him down was just a lucky, or unlucky shot, depending how you look at it. The professor didn't mention that, but probably doesn't know better. There is also a facebook of the "gentle giant" with his booze, semi-auto pistol, and a wad of money in his mouth, it screams gangsta.. I don't think the professor mentioned that. A relatively nice community, which was once 70% white and 30% black changed over the years to flip-flop, yet it was not a Detroit slum; but, rather still a nice community. It got somewhat destroyed by race baiters, starting with POTUS. There are plenty of videos of the looting and burning, enough that those involved could be identified and arrested. Don't think the professor cares about that. The citizens of that community, shamefully, lost all control of their home turf. I don't think the professor mentioned that. In short, if you want a "narrative" and "conversation", you first have to be honest. In this, the professor failed. He failed the students, and he failed honest dialogue....that, in my opinion is the underlying issue: failure of black male leadership!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 28, 2014 | 8:37 p.m.

A microgram of substantiated fact is more precious than fifty metric tons of supposition and/or self-induced fantasy.

One SUPPOSED virtue of having completed a university education is that one has learned to critically evaluate real world situations without blindly racing to conclusions. Well THAT'S turning into a really bad joke, isn't it?

(Report Comment)

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