Ferguson, Mo. remains a tinderbox almost two weeks after Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was confronted by police officer Darren Wilson for walking in the street rather than the sidewalk and subsequently shot and killed. Baltimore has already seen some solidarity responses to the Brown killing, and a number of community organizations and activists continue to organize events addressing the tragedy in Ferguson.
Elder C.D. Witherspoon, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has announced a solidarity march and rally to take place at City Hall in downtown Baltimore, 3 p.m., Aug. 23.
“In Baltimore we can relate to the pain and anguish that the people in Ferguson are currently experiencing because we have experienced our own set of tragedies at the hands of the police here in Baltimore,” said Witherspoon.
He then invoked the deaths of Anthony Anderson in 2012, Tyrone West in 2013, and George King earlier this year, all at the hands of Baltimore City police officers, in expressing concern about a lack of accountability on the part of police where the killing of Black men is concerned.
“We really believe that Tyrone West, and Anthony Anderson, and George King are Baltimore’s very own Michael Brown,” said Witherspoon. “And that Baltimore is essentially just one police murder away from being the next Ferguson.”
The Baltimore branch of FIST, a national youth organization whose name stands for Fight Imperialism Stand Together, will be hosting another rally, 5:30 p.m., Aug. 25, along with the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly, a labor rights and social justice group.
The rally, which is intentionally being held on the same day as Michael Brown’s funeral, will begin at McKeldin Square in downtown Baltimore and march toward Lexington Market if enough people attend the rally. Witherspoon has also committed to participating in this demonstration as well.
“These issues that the folks are fighting for in Ferguson are universal,” said Colleen Davidson, one of founders of FIST and an organizer of Monday’s rally. “Police brutality and lack of accountability for the police is a national issue and it’s hurting so many people here in Baltimore, from the families of Tyrone West and Anthony Anderson to the young people who are getting hurt by the police on a daily basis.”