Death of Michael Brown sparks local West Michigan protest

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—“No justice, no peace” and “solidarity”, words written for all to see on poster boards and white paper, and works spoken in public speeches for all to hear.

Stephanie Moore, Kalamazoo city commissioner, just one of the speakers who took the stage today to send some powerful words to the community.

“This is a day we stand together not for revenge, but for justice,” said Moore.

The crowed prayed together, holding each person arm in arm, and then ended with singing the song “This Little Light of Mine”.

The light shined down on all who came to the protest in Kalamazoo Saturday afternoon. Dozens of community members stood with Ferguson, Missouri in solidarity.

“Today when we stand together, because we are saying, I’m here, I matter, and my life will continue to shine,” said Moore.

Dozens of people came out to the event. Most signed their names to give to organizers so they can be contacted for future events. Some even made donations to help the Brown family afford an attorney, or for bail money for protesters.

“We want justice for Michael Brown, and we want justice for a lot of folks that have lost their lives unnecessarily,” said Shannon Sykes, organizer of the peaceful protest.

The protest took place at exactly 2 PM, strategically planned to do it at the same time as the one in Ferguson, MO. Simultaneously, protests took place across the United States in Washington, D.C., Des Moines, Berkley, CA, and Oakland, CA.

Sykes is the mother of two boys. She says the tragic death of Michael Brown, is one of the reasons she fears for her sons’ well-being.

“This is our time to sort of stand up together in solidarity, and we also want to call and end to police militarization that has occurred over the years, and police brutality as well,” said Sykes.

Sykes reminded the community this isn’t the first time a tragic event like this has happened.

“And of course there was Michael Brown, but earlier there was Dante Parker and Eric Garner, among so many others,” said Sykes.

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