Ferguson: Today marks a pivotal moment for US human rights

November 25, 2014


Today, we learned that a grand jury in Ferguson decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown — an unarmed 18-year-old — in August.

The community response to Mike Brown’s death, and the response that is likely still to come, mark a pivotal moment in the human rights movement and in U.S. history.

It’s a moment of passion, of frustration, and of activism.

It’s within this moment that officials in Ferguson and throughout the United States must stand up to ensure that each individual’s human rights — including the right to freely express themselves in the form of peaceful protest — are respected, protected and fulfilled.

That’s why we have an Amnesty delegation in Ferguson today.

Together, we are calling upon law enforcement officers to facilitate peaceful protests.

We are calling on them to bear in mind their role as partners and protectors of community, seeking to do no harm.

We are calling on them to protect peaceful assemblies, even if a small minority tries to turn a peaceful protest into a violent one.

That’s what human rights looks like.

I’m headed to Ferguson on behalf of people like the one pictured in this post. This little boy reminds us that his life – and all lives – matter.

While we can’t all be in Ferguson in this moment, we can stand in solidarity today. As you share this image in support of peaceful protest, we ask that you remember the human rights of boys like this one.

And as law enforcement officers head to work today, we ask that they do the same.