NEW: Hundreds Turn Out in Providence for Ferguson, Mexico Solidarity March

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


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Photo: Watson

A week after the Ferguson decision -- and six days after a protest in Providence resulted in arrests when protesters blocked Route 95, hundreds marched from Burnside Park in downtown Providence to the State House Monday night, to bring attention to both the Ferguson decision -- as well as six people who were murdered and 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers' College who disappeared on September 26, 2014.

"On December 1, 2014, students, workers, and human rights activists around the world will hold another national day of struggle in solidarity with Ferguson and Mexico," wrote group organizers on their Facebook page.

"It was peaceful," said David Fasteson of the protest.  "It was about shining the light on police violence and mass incarceration and the militarization of police forces here and around the world."

Fasteson, who lives in Smithfield and ran for State Senate, said he was concerned with what he said is a $6 million expansion of the Smithfield police facilities. 

"This protest resonated with people looking for work, and the state of the economy," said Fasteson. 

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Photo: Fasteson

Ray Watson with the Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association commended the police on duty on Monday. 

"It was a good demonstration.  I went because I think it's important that we remain consistent with bringing awareness to this situation because too often we get up in arms about issues for a week or two, and then it's back to business as usual," said Mt. hope Neighborhood Association Director Ray Watson.  "I used the opportunity to inform the group about the Providence Community Safety Act and the Comprehensive Racial Profiling Act.  The underlying theme was that we have to move our protest into positive action and that these are two ways to make that happen."

"I'd also like to thank the Providence Police Department, in particular Major Verdi, and RI State Troopers for being professional and respectful while they did their duty this evening," continued Watson.  "I am not aware of any incidents of misconduct that took place.

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Photo: Fasteson


Related Slideshow: RI Reacts to Ferguson

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Pilar McCould

Providence NAACP Branch

"Although I understand the law, I cannot wrap my head around this decision. So am I to understand that Mike Vick who fought dogs.....illegal yes,  did do jail time, lost his position & had to prove himself in society once released from prison is a criminal but a law officer can shoot kill an unarmed young man & not be indicated on any charges????

We have come from the days of MLK.......or have we???? There are times I feel as though it's a modern day Jim Crowe.   And I somehow have to be able to explain this to students who I work with, parents who are angry & community residents who are outraged."

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Kobi Dennis

Project Night Vision

"My thoughts come from a local standpoint. The urban community for decades have not seen "Eye to Eye" with law enforcement. They don't understand our culture and we don't understand theirs... This situation and many others have been extremely difficult to navigate, especially from a civilian point of view. I agree with the masses concerning police brutality, racist officers and unjust arrests.

What I don't believe in has to do with continuing this unbalanced relationship. We need one another and the sooner community & law enforcement realize this, incidents such as the Mike Brown death will lesson. The community has extended an "Olive Branch" on many occasions and the responses from law enforcement and community are improving. We have plenty of work to do on this issue and several others concerning race relations but it takes hard work and dedication instead of millions of angry bloggers."

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Leah Williams Metts

NAACP Youth Council

"I believe that everyone had hope but in the back of our mind we knew what the verdict was going to be

We knew he would get off free for this its sad. I am very happy that they took a second look at the case. I think that that might have sent a huge message to police officers all over this country."

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Ray Watson

Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association

"Legally they have their reasons. But morally and righteously, is disgraceful. And it's systemic. Overwhelmingly Law Enforcement can shoot people, especially young Black males, with impunity. I'll be out tomorrow voicing my disgust with the situation. I hope others will join us as well."


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