Since the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., Unitarian Universalists in Missouri and elsewhere have participated in marches and vigils, collected food, and joined in calls for justice in investigating the teen’s death.
Daily protests of Brown’s death have ended several times with confrontations with police, who have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. Looters have damaged local businesses, and the start of the school year was postponed.
In an August 20 statement, UUA President Peter Morales said, “The images from Ferguson, Missouri, are profoundly unsettling: tanks, tear gas, military weaponry for urban warfare, angry crowds. We immediately feel a mixture of shock, anger, dismay, helplessness, sympathy, and outrage. As religious people who are committed to compassion and justice, what are we to do?”
“Ferguson is not about Ferguson,” Morales said. “It is about the systematic dehumanizing of people all over America.” He encouraged UUs to “stand on the side of love with those seeking healing and some measure of justice,” and to “rededicate ourselves to the work of building a world where events like those in Ferguson are unthinkable.” (via uuworld.org : missouri uus hold vigils, collect food for ferguson)