As police helicopters circled above and officers sat atop the Sacramento county jail watching, angry protesters shouted, “Don’t shoot, hands up,” in memory of Michael Brown, the African American youth gunned down in a St. Louis suburb by officer Darren Wilson. For the past couple of weeks, Ferguson has been the site of angry and justified uprisings by citizens who demand that police killings of innocent Black men come to an end, and for justice to be served for those who have been the victims of racist police policies. The protesters in Sacramento stood in solidarity with the brave men and women in Ferguson.
About 200 activists, parents, students, church leaders, and concerned community members attended the event in downtown Sacramento. Sacramento ANSWER member Demond Richardson spoke on behalf of ANSWER. The event was organized by Christia Arechiga, a cousin of Ernest Duenez Jr. Ernest, who just like Michael Brown was unarmed and non-aggressive when he was gunned down by Officer John Moody in front of his home.
The most atrocious aspect in police killings, from Ernest Duenez Jr to Michael Brown, is the need of the authorities and the mainstream media to protect the police by releasing supposedly incriminating video from prior to the shooting. This video, just like the image of Trayvon Martin with a gold grill in his mouth, is the ultimate proof for right-wingers, racists and defenders of the police, that their shootings were justified. These are the same right-wingers who showed up in Nevada with heavy weapons because a racist was told to stop grazing his cattle on federal land. Michael Brown was the victim of all the ills created by capitalism: racism, imperialism, fascism, greed, and so forth. That is why we activists must also stand up against these ills.
The Michael Brown shooting was not an isolated incident, which is why citizens and activists in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and other cities are not silent. As the uprisings in Ferguson continue for justice for Michael Brown, we activists not in Ferguson must stand in complete solidarity with their movement. A victory for Ferguson is a victory for all those who came out in Sacramento, and for all those who came out in every city across the country.