Ferguson protesters have taken to the streets to rally against the Darren Wilson grand jury decision and against police brutality in many different ways. Some have rioted, some have peacefully gathered, while others across the nation have taken part in acts of civil disobedience to express their displeasure.
Now that the Christmas season has officially arrived, we’ve even seen protesters disrupt Black Friday, and some staged “die-ins” (where protestors lie for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and half hours Michael Brown’s body remained in the street after Wilson killed him) at major department stores. In one of the most unique forms of peaceful protest over the kickoff to the 2014 holiday shopping season, Ferguson protesters remixed Christmas carols to stand against racism. Scroll down to hear the full version of one of the carols.
NewsOne‘s Tim Lampley spoke with a number of the organizers and protesters who took part in Friday’s protests aimed to interfere with commerce in the St. Louis area.
Teresa Pecinovsky explained what the disruptions in the business districts meant: “I think it’s time to wake up the public and say we’re going to have an economic impact in our community and if people aren’t going to accept the fact that Black lives matter, we’re going to force it to their attention.”
Elizabeth Vega, one of the protest organizers, believes people are getting used the pattern of the “Die in” protests.
Another protest organizer, 29-year-old DeRay McKesson talked about the goal of the “Justice Carols” and “Die In” protests saying, “Our lives have been disrupted by the killing of Mike Brown, Kajame (Powell) and Vonderrit (Meyers) and we want to put that disruption back on the life of the state.”
McKesson also highlighted the peaceful nature of the protests that have been going on for more that 100 days. “… we’ve probably had four days of sort of challenging behavior on the protest community. The vast majority of the movement has been peaceful and we intend it to be that way.”
The peaceful protesters can claim a Black Friday victory for the cause. On Friday, their “creative but always peaceful protests” led officials at the St. Louis Galleria and other malls to temporarily shut stores down after protesters showed up and staged a “die in.”
In the video clip above you will hear protesters singing their version of the holiday classic “Silver Bells.”
Life is Hell, Life is Hell
It’s a racist time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Slim hope for justice today
According to a PDF released by Tribe X, an organization founded by people who bonded during the Ferguson uprising, the carolers of the Mike Brown Movement believe that there has been a miscarriage of justice in the Michael Brown case.
This conglomeration of people consists of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds believe that “if we sit idly by after such an egregious assault on another human life that we would be failing our duties as human beings of this planet.”
A statement released by the group said the killing of Brown and the subsequent Ferguson grand jury decision “awakened in us a desire to eradicate systematic injustices and usher in equity for all people of all kinds in the world. Mike Brown’s death sparked something inside of us that we could not let go dormant.”
The video above has the musical stylings of Tribe X and the carolers of the Mike Brown Movement. Download the “Protestor’s Caroling for Justice Song Book” for all of the remixed Christmas carols.