Sharpton-Led March Alienates Youth Activists

December 15, 2014

Youth groups in Washington organized an alternative protest after the main march, calling for more radical action

Youth groups in Washington organized an alternative protest after the main march, calling for more radical action



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Story Transcript

CROWD: Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

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JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: What does this march mean to you?

ESAW GARNER, WIFE OF ERIC GARNER: It means that my husband’s name will not be forgotten, that his life mattered, that we get justice not only for him but for all them other mothers and wives and sons and daughters. And I still have two sons to raise in this country that I worry about every single day.

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AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND MINISTER: We are not here to play big shot. We’re here to win. Get the brothers and sisters, the young folk from Ferguson a hand.

ERIKA TOTTEN, ORGANIZER, UNCHAINED: Ultimately, we have been out here, we have been out here in Ferguson and D.C. and New York, and we started this uprising.

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TOTTEN: They came and spoke to try to calm us down and to tell us to go inside and go home and brought into the mainstream media a message of people looting when that really was not the case. And so, when they realized that we weren’t going anywhere, that’s when they stood up and realized that we aren’t playing. This is a real revolution. This is a real movement. And so you want to be on the right side of history.

So what they did was they used their platforms they had built for many, many years being talking heads on MSNBC or whatever, they have a different platform than we do. And so I really wanted to see–we came with genuine intention to see who they would–whose voices they would elevate. And then, when I saw that there wasn’t anyone from Ferguson speaking other than the parents, the people that have been out there protesting and the organizers weren’t going to have a chance to speak, we kept being dismissed. And so I said, okay, stand behind me and follow me. We’re going to shut it down like we always do.

MARSHA COLEMAN-ADEBAYO, COORDIATOR, D.C. HANDS-UP COALITION: So the Obama administration has used a surrogate, and the surrogate is obviously Reverend Al Sharpton, to help corral that kind of energy and those kinds of issues back into the political system, where those kinds of passions can die an unnatural death.

[PROTEST FOOTAGE]

TONI SANDERS, ORGANIZER: The whole system was built to protect those with economic power. The whole concept of race was built to divide us as a people so that we wouldn’t come together, unite, and stand against the system. Those that want to keep the system in power are the 1 percent who have the money. So you can trace white supremacy, racism, you trace it all back to capitalism. You destroy capitalism, you can destroy the system.

TOMMY OWENS, PROTESTER: We definitely need that, because our money matters. What we have to understand is we could shut this whole country down with just taking back the money we spend.

COLEMAN-ADEBAYO: And I think what we saw this morning was this young cadre of young leaders out of Ferguson saying, it’s not going to be that way anymore. We’ve cried too much. Our sorrow is too deep. We’ve lost our brothers and our fathers.

PASTOR DANT’E KING, PROTESTER: [incompr.] of course we know that’s not an issue with just Eric Garner. It’s not an issue with just black and white. It’s an issue of fairness. And we have a lot of people living under the poverty line of all ethnicities. And I think corporate greed has a lot to do with it, corporations who don’t want to give a fair living. So, sometimes, if I can’t make a fair living, it may lead me to either work more jobs, so now I’m not home for my children like I want to be, I’m going to have to have a side job and things like that. So the minimum wage needs to be addressed. I think Congress should pass it. I think it’s hard to pass something that doesn’t affect you. So we have congressmen and senators making the wage that they make. It’s kind of hard to empathize with people if you never feel their pain.

[PROTEST FOOTAGE]

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.