That’s what a leader with Hands Up United, one of a handful of groups that formed following the Ferguson protests, declared earlier this month to an audience of young men and women at a free hip hop concert. The performance was part of what organizers had billed as a three-day weekend of resistance “to say no more Mike Browns.”
The sentiment had been echoed elsewhere since the summer, gaining conviction with each retweet. But it might just as well have remained unspoken: between police firing tear gas on Ferguson residents gathering to mourn the slain teenager and the hundreds of arrests they made in the course of the next two months, it became clear that the situation was not just a moment anymore.
Nor was it all about Mike Brown, as Ferguson residents noted from day one. “This was a long way coming,” many told VICE News in the early days of the protests, referring to long-simmering grievances. But at the time, it didn’t quite look like a movement either.