Ferguson groups seek national support for Weekend of Resistence

by Robyn Haas

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Community groups are calling for supporters from around the country to join them in a Weekend of Resistance in Ferguson, Mo., Oct. 10-13. Planned events include meetings, trainings and discussions on a variety of topics, along with a Día de los Muertos event, art installations, film screenings, and a Clergy/Faith Day of Action. The biggest events are projected to be a mass march through downtown St. Louis and demonstrations at several locations around the area.

Among the organizing groups is Hands Up United, formed by Ferguson youth in response to the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown Jr. and the subsequent police actions in Ferguson. The youth are joining with two community organizing groups, Organization for Black Struggle and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment to coordinate the weekend's events.

This nationwide invitation marks a shift for the involved community organizers; their main goals had been to support community healing and make local voices heard. Broadening their focus, organizers hope to "build momentum for a nationwide movement against police violence" with the weekend's events, according to their website, FergusonOctober.com.

The Organization for Black Struggle links the events in Ferguson to what it sees as "institutionalized and structural" racism, and hopes that the weekend will "sow transformative seeds for others to carry back home."

The community of Ferguson has seen continued unrest and tension between residents and the local government and police force since the shooting of Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, by Police Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson is currently on paid leave while the incident is investigated.

Many members of the community feel that the investigation is not being conducted in an impartial manner, and object to the ways that police officers have been responding to marches and protests since the incident.

A version of this story appeared in the Oct 10-23, 2014 print issue under the headline: Local groups seek national support.

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