Palestinians send messages of solidarity to #Ferguson protestors
Palestinian messages of solidarity with protesters in the American town of Ferguson were tweeted thousands of times overnight on Monday.
“Solidarity with Ferguson from the occupied besieged and bloodied Gaza. Palestinian lives matter. Black lives matter. All lives should matter,” read one.
Another said: “The Palestinian people know what [it] mean[s] to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity.”
Some of the images were first circulated shortly after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson by police while unarmed on 9 August.
His death prompted mass civil unrest and protest in the suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, and saw claims of institutional racism levelled at a predominantly white police force patrolling a predominantly black population.
Mass protests broke out once more on Monday night after a grand jury decided against charging the police officer – Darren Wilson – who killed Brown.
“Hands up, don’t shoot,” crowds chanted, referencing what witnesses said were Brown’s last words before being shot multiple times and killed.
Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds and some protesters set fire to several buildings. Thousands of other people took part in protests across the country – from Los Angeles to New York and Washington DC.
Solidarity between Palestinians and protesters in Ferguson has been an ongoing theme in the protests.
“From Ferguson to Palestine occupation is a crime,” read one banner seen in Missouri.
Palestinian groups and individuals also sent a message of support during August, expressing solidarity with both Brown’s family and the street protesters.
“From all factions and sectors of our dislocated [Palestinian] society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives,” it read.
“We understand your moral outrage. We empathise with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.”
Michael Brown’s mother, Lesly McSpadden, wept as she received the news on Monday evening that the police officer who killed her son would face no criminal charges.
An investigation is ongoing as to whether police officer Wilson violated Brown’s civil rights.