An 18-hour ride on an old – and late – charter bus would be enough to fill the most seasoned traveler with apprehension and anxiety. But waiting to board exactly such a bus with 40 other black people, mostly strangers, to ride halfway across the country to St Louis, Missiouri, we were praying for more than just functioning air conditioning.
On our way to Ferguson as part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) ride, we were hoping for safe travels: some of us were aware that hundreds of black people traveling long distances could easily be cause for police stops; others had stories to tell about their encounters with police. When we arrived and met people who had been on the road for 36 hours or more, we were hardly even tired, despite the uncomfortable rest. But we were all rightfully enraged, and ready to fight for justice.
The BLM Ride was organized in the spirit of the early 1960s interstate Freedom Rides in the racially segregated south, after the visuals of Michael Brown’s lifeless and blood-drenched body brought to mind images of lifeless black bodies hanging from lynching trees in the all-too-recent past, after the militarized police forces looked all too similar to the response of police to protestors during the civil rights movement.
Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/04/never-forget-ferguson-justice-for-michael-brown