Support the Café

Search our Site

Hands up as protest

Hands up as protest

“Hands-up”…chanted and displayed…has become the major form of protest in Ferguson.

Matt Pearce in the LA Times:

The hands-up — a sign of surrender and submission black men and boys here say they learn early on when dealing with police — has been transformed into a different kind of weapon.

Wesley Lowerly includes his tweeted photos and videos in his Washington Post article on protesting near Ferguson:

At one point, the racially diverse group of protesters sat down in a straight line with their hands above their heads chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

Pearce’s article also considers the different ways hands up is seen and used in protest:

Just as “Ferguson” has transformed into instantly recognizable shorthand signifying the latest juncture in an unsettled national conversation over race and policing, the “hands up, don’t shoot” chant has joined a long line of activist slogans that crystallize the heart of a community’s moral outrage: Hell no, we won’t go. No justice, no peace….

The black teens and twentysomethings who took to the streets in Ferguson on Monday night did the same, lifting their hands to the glaring lights of a police chopper and the line of police vehicles — with officers in front — trying to keep them at bay.

But they also used the hands-up sign as a tool for provocation, drifting toward the police with their arms up, as if daring for a response. They mixed the hands-up chant with a taunting, obscene anti-police chant. The police eventually drove the group away with tear gas.

In Clayton the following morning, the hands-up protest was deployed again to confront police officers, but with more peaceful intentions. For several black men who looked on as a line of demonstrators held up their hands, some while on their knees, the symbol had powerful and even painful personal resonance.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café