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Ferguson eye witness speaks to KU students

By Bauke Schram Nov 18, 2014
'Hands up, don't shoot' symbol in Ferguson - copyright Rex Features

The editor of the Socialist Worker, who witnessed the Ferguson protest, spoke to the Kingston Social Worker Student Society (KWSS) about the protests and the death of Michael Brown, a young black man shot by the police.

Judith Orr, the activist and editor of the Socialist Worker, which published the provocative ‘Rejoice!’ front page when Thatcher died, talked to the society about racism and the police in the United States.

The protest against institutional racism and police violence kicked off after the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in August this year.

Hamza Sharif, the president of SWSS said“Ferguson is important because it shows the continuing reality of racism under capitalism.

“Across the world, the rich legitimate racism in order to divide ordinary people.”

Ms Orr told a room full of students about institutional racism in the US, and the militarised police force.

“When I arrived there, someone who had been sent out to Afghanistan in the past told me the military was more peaceful there than the police was in Ferguson,”she said.

Ms Orr also said that Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot Michael Brown, used jaywalking as an excuse to stop him and explained that his ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ became a symbol throughout the US.

“What happened on the 9th of August this summer in Ferguson was cold-blooded murder,” she said. “There is no other way of looking at it.

“The reason that Michael Brown was not just another statistic, and we are talking about him in a room in Kingston, is that people had had enough. They went out on the street and did not go home for days.”

The meeting, attended by Kingston Social Worker Student Society members as well as staff and Roehampton students, also concerned the EGM about the Palestine conflict which was held on Wednesday, 17th.

By Bauke Schram

Bauke Schram is the external news editor for the River Online. She is a political journalist with an interest in transnational organisations and international economics. She has written for the likes of City AM, Shout Out UK and Third Sector Magazine

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