UCSB graduate students joined with roughly 500 Santa Barbara community members on Tuesday to rally in protest of Monday's news that a white police officer from Ferguson, Missouri, would not be indicted for killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
A grand jury determined that Darren Wilson would face no criminal charges for shooting Brown, although Wilson shot him six times, including a fatal shot to the forehead. Some witnesses testified that Brown, who was African American, had his hands up in an attempt to surrender, but Wilson fired additional shots. Numerous demonstrations have been staged throughout the country following the verdict.
Here is a personal recap of last night's events from ethnomusicology graduate student and unit chair of UCSB's UAW2865 Aviva Milner-Brage:
"I thought our peaceful Santa Barbara Ferguson protest was very successful. We gathered at the courthouse around 6 p.m. and from there walked through the streets around downtown chanting 'Black lives matter. ... No justice, no peace. ... No racist police,' and 'While you are here shopping, our bodies are dropping.' There were so many familiar faces from our UCSB graduate, undergraduate, and faculty community. It was also great to see onlookers pumping their fists in solidarity and in a few cases joining us! The police were there watching and waiting for us to give them a reason to retaliate, but we did not! Our protest remained peaceful and powerful. At the conclusion of the march, we gathered at the corner of Santa Barbara and Figueroa streets to hear individuals from the UCSB Black Student Union and the Santa Barbara Black Community speak about the verdict."