Ferguson Protest 1 Yr. Anniversary

    Overwhelming nolstagia when I turned on the news about an hour ago only to find protests against police brutality flaming up again, this time in Chicago. One Year ago TODAY at exactly this time, I was walking the streets covering the Ferguson Police Brutality Protest's in Downtown LA alongside the first group of peaceful protestors. Sadly the LAPD blindly followed orders to instigate the protestors using the force of over 500 officers. As the protestors split up to rejoin in front of city hall I followed a small group of 30 protestors. The protestors along with any passerby or spectator who happened to be standing at that intersection were all corralled in the center like chickens with no warning or time to disperse. Everyone and anyone ( including myself ) was arrested, hauled into bus's and sent to jail. Amongst those in my bus were leaders of activist groups from all over Los Angeles, young protestors directly affected by police brutality, a woman who had just finished grocery shopping, a man who lived down the street walking home from work and a couple homeless people. In the silence of the long ride, the fog of fear and frustration began to clear out when a young african american protestor began to sing " Freedom..Freedom...Freedom will show us the way. " while stomping his boots, others began to trickle in and the soft sung rhyme quickly turned into every person with fire in their stomp belting out at the top of their lungs a chant of courage, so much so that the sound of the officers protests in the front of the bus was drowned out by this united single voice we all made together. Hope, strength, courage, pride, unity, care and love for what we all believed in sent each one of us into our cells with our head held high. Unfortunately this story does not end with a quick release and a slap on the wrist. This first group of protestors I was with was held in the downtown los angeles jailhouse until thanksgiving morning. Being held for two days and two nights without an option for bail and not being given any information. Food was scarce considering they were not prepared to have this many protestors and bystanders for that long. We were quick to get organized, sitting around the main eating table introducing ourselves and getting a feel for who was there. A couple official activists from latino communities and one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter happened to be incarcerated with this first group and being lawyered up she had a quick release. We asked an officer to write down all of our names, wristband numbers and phone numbers. Upon her release she organized lawyer representation for all of us and slowly we trickled out through out thanksgiving morning. It was outstanding to witness such quick unhesitantunity and helpfulness. Being arrested and held with no justifiable reason or lawful explanation, not only did i get a small inhuman taste of what a huge amount of people go through on a regular basis in this country, I also witnessed some of the most enlightening and inspirational moments of unity, love and courage that will keep me motivated on this journey to help humankind until the day I die. Take this moment as an opportunity to understand, learn, grow and help rebuild UNITY stronger.