Ann Arbor to Ferguson and Beyond

On Nov. 25, shouts were heard, cars were stopped and hundreds of people from the community in and around Ann Arbor gathered in response to the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.

109 days ago, 18-year-old Brown was killed by police Officer Wilson. Monday night the grand jury announced that Wilson will not be indicted for the death of Brown. Since the shooting, protesters have been seen in Ferguson, Seattle and now Ann Arbor.

At 6 p.m. students, parents and anyone who felt angry or disappointed about the announcement gathered at the center of the Diag for a vigil and march through town. After a few speakers and a moment of silence, the march began.

“Hey hey ho ho, these racist cops have got to go” and “hands up, don’t shoot” were heard throughout the town. Cars were stopped and some honked along with the protesters. From the Diag, down Liberty St. to Main St. all the way to the police department the protesters walked the streets of Ann Arbor.

The march—although right after the Brown / Wilson decision—wasn’t just about Brown. The protest also focused on Aura Rosser, a 40-year-old woman who was shot and killed by an Ann Arbor police officer on Nov. 9.

Chavonna Bigham, 21, shared a jail cell with Rosser at the Washtenaw County Jail and spoke about her outside of the Police Department. “[Aura] was a soul that can never be replaced on this earth ever again,” she said.

Bigham said that you have to fight. “You don’t fight war with peace,” she said. However, if you fight there are consequences. “If you fight for a change then you are a target,” Bigham said.

She encouraged the protesters to mobilize, to organize and to educate the public. “It doesn’t matter how many signs you hold up, how many Facebook groups you make, how many assemblies there are,” Bigham said. “It doesn’t matter if there is no outcome.”

Tony Morgan, a group member from Radical Washtenaw, spoke about Monday night’s non-verdict and what it meant. “You witnessed the death of justice… you saw humanity die in front of your faces,” Morgan said.

He spoke about how although we’ve had major advancements in technology and science, racism has not been eliminated. “Part of this feels like 1963, part of this feels like 1974, but it’s 2014,” Morgan said. “… [A]nd we still don’t have equal rights.”

Listen below for live audio of the march.