From the Bronx to Ferguson

IN MEMORY OF MICHAEL BROWN: We will bring at least 500 UNARMED CIVILIAN t-shirts to Ferguson in an act of solidarity.

We have launched an initiative to print at least 500* UNARMED CIVILIAN t-shirts to bring to Ferguson, Missouri, which we will distribute publicly in an act of solidarity. We will document this action, share the footage, and amplify the voices of the people we meet in Ferguson through our social networks.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT created the UNARMED CIVILIAN shirt in 2011 to be worn in protest against the threat of violence that so many face from racism and militarism throughout this country and the world. Over 70,000 t-shirts from other WE WILL NOT BE SILENT language campaigns have been distributed throughout the world.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language, embodied on shirts and emboldened on signs held up in public spaces, we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public actions where many people can participate.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT as once again we bear witness to police brutality that is fueled by insidious racism throughout the United States of America.

Our initiative is simple to carry out but complex in its intent.

We wear UNARMED CIVILIAN to raise people’s consciousness about the present threat of highly-armed security forces in our communities and to urge open discussion about the harm committed, against all our humanity, when people like Michael Brown are gunned down in cold blood, in broad daylight, in our neighborhoods, by a high-tech, militarized, local police force, acting with impunity.

We wear UNARMED CIVILIAN to call out the injustice of excessive violence so often perpetrated against people of color by uniformed police forces.

We wear UNARMED CIVILIAN to illustrate, boldly in black and white, our deep solidarity with those at greatest risk, who are losing their precious lives.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. We will not forget.

We ask you to wear UNARMED CIVILIAN wherever you are, to embody the message of our collective vulnerability to abuse of power, in view of these highly, militarized police forces acting against our civil and human rights, throughout our communities here in the United States of America, as well as all over the world.

RECLAIM JUSTICE. RECLAIM POWER.

We are pleased to let you know that the UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson Campaign, as of this writing, has gone beyond our fundraising goal. We have eleven days remaining to continue building this grassroots effort. As we have previously declared, our commitment is to rise to the occasion of your support. WE COMMIT TO PRINT AS MANY UNARMED CIVILIAN T-SHIRTS AS YOU AFFORD US THE ABILITY TO PRINT, and we will distribute each and every one in an act of solidarity.

The are the kids I met at The Cornerstone Academy for Social Action middle school in the Bronx last week… I was invited to speak there to 100 students in five classes about the UNARMED CIVILIAN IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI Campaign and the WE WILL NOT BE SILENT Language Project… They wrote messages of solidarity and are working on making a music video about the message UNARMED CIVILIAN that we will bring with us to Ferguson when we go to distribute over 500 UNARMED CIVILIAN shirts… we hope to raise enough money on the kickstarter for 1,000 shirts.

During my presentation I met a student who was wearing a kaffiyeh. I asked him if he knew what the kaffiyeh represented, and while he wasn’t sure, he said that his brother wears one. He also mentioned that someone told him there was a connection to terrorism. I explained that people around the world wear the kaffiyeh as a show of solidarity in the Palestinian struggle for justice and that to equate solidarity with the Palestinians with terrorism is racist. This was one of many thoughtful interactions I had with some of the most curious and attentive young people I have met.

You can listen to and read their messages to Ferguson here.

Dare to Dream

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Dear friends,

We are pleased to let you know that in twelve days the UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson Campaign, as of this writing, has gone beyond our fundraising goal, raising $5,540. We have seventeen days remaining to continue building this grassroots effort. As we have previously declared, our commitment is to rise to the occasion of your support. WE COMMIT TO PRINT AS MANY UNARMED CIVILIAN T-SHIRTS AS YOU AFFORD US THE ABILITY TO PRINT, and we will distribute each and every one in an act of solidarity.

We are preparing to place the order for the first
500 UNARMED CIVILIAN t-shirts and planning for our travels to Ferguson, Missouri. We will keep you posted as we proceed.

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Yesterday was an especially amazing day because, as the WE WILL NOT BE SILENT project and UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson Campaign was being presented to five middle school classes at the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action in the Bronx, we discovered that the campaign reached its initial monetary goal. This occurred immediately after the students watched our Kickstarter video. All the students broke out in loud cheers expressing their solidarity and personal investment in seeing this effort succeed. These young people know first-hand how the militarization of local police forces are a direct form of oppression and present a grave danger in their lives and in their community. Many of the students related to the power of the UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson Campaign. We are committed to make sure each person who wanted an UNARMED CIVILIAN t-shirt to wear will be able to receive one. Until then, we provided the students with hand-printed UNARMED CIVILIAN patches, which they immediately pinned to their bodies. At the end of the day, they sent us away with 100 hand-written signs to carry their words from the Bronx, New York to Ferguson, Missouri in unity with the people there, who we are soon to meet.

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Thank you to HIP HOP SAVES LIVES, KIDS HELPING KIDS, NEGUS WORLD and the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action for inviting us to share with their community. We look forward to standing for justice together.

On behalf of the people of Ferguson, in memory of Michael Brown and in solidarity with the students we met yesterday, we are asking that you help us continue to raise the visibility of the UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson Campaign.

Dare to dream…

1,000 UNARMED CIVILIANS standing against

police brutality, against militarism and,
at the core of it all, against racism.

Take the time…
please send out this email and if you can
make a donation.

We will show the people of Ferguson that
we stand with the many who stand with them.

Click here to join the campaign: UNARMED CIVILIAN in Ferguson, Missouri

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