Black Lives Matter : The birth of a movement

Shooting Deathsource: The Guardian
published: 17 January 2017

The killing of Michael Brown created a new generation of black activists, with thousands taking to the streets, and a hashtag used more than 27m times. But will the movement survive the Trump era?  by Wesley Lowery

“OK, let’s take him.” Within seconds two officers grabbed me, each seizing an arm, and shoved me against the drinks machine that rested along the front wall of the McDonald’s where I had been eating and working on my report. As I released my clenched hands, my mobile phone and notebook fell to the tiled floor.

Then came the sharp sting of the plastic cable tie as it was sealed, pinching tight at the corners of my wrists. I’d never been arrested before, and this wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it would go down.

Two days earlier, I’d been sent to Ferguson, Missouri, by the Washington Post, to cover the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. The fatal gunshots, fired by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on 9 August 2014, were followed by bursts of anger, in the form of protests and riots. Hundreds, and then thousands, of local residents had flooded the streets.

For the Ferguson press corps – which would eventually swell from dozens of reporters for local St Louis outlets into hundreds of journalists from farther afield, including dozens of foreign countries – the McDonald’s on West Florissant Avenue became the newsroom.

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