Tuesday, December 2, Ferguson, MO

Hundreds of High School Students Walk Out:
“Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

by Larry Everest | December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



Hundreds of high school students from Ferguson and St. Louis County walked out on December 2 in response to the #HandsUpWalkOut call for nationwide school walkouts, including the high schools in the Ferguson-Florissant District—McCluer South-Berkeley High and McCluer North—along with Hazelwood Central and Hazelwood East, Clayton High, Kirkwood High, and Ritenour High in St. Louis, where students laid down on the football field for 4.5 minutes.  And other schools may have walked out as well.  Some schools had been shut on Monday due to weather, so the students took action Tuesday.

I caught up with 200, mainly Black students, from Ferguson’s McCluer South-Berkeley High, located not far from the Ferguson police station, as they were defiantly marching up South Florissant to Airport Road where they rallied for an hour or more. 

Their energy—and desire to speak out was impossible to contain—expressed in loud chants or talking about their feelings and why they’d walked out and marched. 

“He should have been indicted!” “We want to be heard!”  “Black lives matter.”  “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” were some of their shouted demands.  “Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

One said: “It wasn’t right, it wasn’t right, it could have been any of us,” one young woman said.  “It hit me in the heart.  I got brothers.  That shit matters.”

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

“I ain’t even Black, man you know what I’m saying,” said one Asian-American student.  “But police saw me one time—so I know about the shit.”

“We’re out here trying to make our voices heard,” a young woman said. “Our generation is going to make a change.  We’ve got to get out heard.  We can’t just be upset and say nothing.  It’s been going on too long—it could have easily been her or me...”

“We need to get justice, we’re out here for justice—no justice no peace for real!” one woman yelled.

“He [Darren Wilson] didn’t have to shoot to kill,” one young man said.  He [Mike Brown] wasn’t going to do nothing to that man, and that’s why we’re out here.  They’re [police] are out here following us like we’re going to vandalize something.  Why are they following us?”

“There’s a lot going on,” a woman student said quietly.  “We’re just tired of all the killing by the police.”

“It’s not right for them to let the man walk away with murder,” one male student said, “he’s got to be doing some time.”

Several of the students told me that they’d been a core of some 20 students who began the walkout by marching around the school and rallying others.  They told me that they wanted the other students to be more serious about the walkout and the issues—and not just out because others were.  I shared my experience from the 1960s—that a lot of people, including me in some ways—who get drawn into things in part because “everyone is doing it,” can change and get really serious about changing the world.

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