Three young delegates with the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center (MLKJFC) recently returned from St Louis and Ferguson, Missouri after a weekend of protest against police brutality organized by clergy, labor groups, educational organizations, peace advocates and community organizers in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown on August 9
After attending the National Weekend of Resistance, the delegates Eric Fuller, 22, Maira Perez,18, and Rasmyah Hammoudeh, 25 hope to apply the lessons they learned here in Oakland.
“We have learned that in order to answer any call to action, we must be organized and one with the community,” said Fuller, MLKJFC organizer for community policing. “We plan to do precisely that here in Oakland.”
That sentiment was shared by Perez, a sophomore at Mills College who led the delegation to Ferguson. “We know that in order to keep the struggle in our minds we have to be extremely organized,” said Perez.
“We need to form narratives that offer challenges to the difficult problems facing our communities – identify our choices and outcomes – as we go about our work in Oakland,” she said.
The delegates participated in a nonviolence organizing session hosted by Eden Theological Seminary emceed by Reverend Dr. David Greenhaw, the seminary’s president. They also interacted with local nonviolence organizers, including lead Ferguson event organizer, Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou.
While in Ferguson, the delegates engaged with residents and joined them to visit Michael Brown’s memorial site. They followed that with a march from Michael Brown’s family’s home to the Ferguson Police Station where they joined a local rally and vigil.
When not organizing against police brutality in the Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area, the delegation present classes and trainings in ethical leadership, character development and personal responsibility through social participation with middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and community based organizations for MLKJFC.