The August 9, 2014 murder of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer, and the violent crackdown by the police force, unleashed a wave of shock, anger, and protest. The murder evolved from a local incident to a galvanizing moment for groups that were mobilized around police brutality, gun violence and civil liberties. In an extraordinary show of force, local and national organizations flocked to Ferguson to support the residents, and what began as spontaneous protests have given way to vigils, coordinated civil disobedience and voter registration drives. What has emerged is the potential burgeoning of a national movement.
Clearly, in order to turn “a moment into a movement” the way forward requires a high level of coordination, organizing chops and strategy – something the organizers of Freedom Summer have in spades.
Over the next few weeks, Firelight Media will bring the voices of former SNCC field secretaries, Freedom School teachers, Mississippi Freedom Summer Party delegates, clergy and CORE volunteers who will offer words of support and advice to the organizers and residents of Ferguson, Missouri. These courageous organizers not only participated in a seminal organizing effort in the Civil Rights Movement, but they are all still active educators, attorneys and organizers. Their voices bring depth, savvy and historical context to our current moment.
Follow the #FreedomSummerNow blog to read their words and join the conversation.