Houston-The Black community leaders have made it crystal clear that White Men walking with guns and rifles through Black neighborhoods in the Fifth Ward is unacceptable.
That message stopped members of Open Carry Texas from coming through the community for what it contends was nothing more than encouraging and supporting gun owner rights and open carry for law-abiding citizen.
Now, the “Know Your Rights” demonstration will be a support and solidarity demonstration in support of the Michael Brown family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri.
“We are still going to the Fifth Ward Saturday and we encourage you to join us,” said Kofi Taharka, National Chair for the National Black United Front, Houston. “We have shifted the focus. This will be a solidarity rally for the family of Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson, Missouri.”
The New Black Panther Party, NBUF and community supporters are holding the self defense and peace demonstration at Lockwood and Lyons at noon on Saturday and still will focus on Black people not only know their rights and on demanding justice for each and every incident of police brutality and killing across America.
Michael Brown becomes the latest statistic in the long string of sins committed by police departments across America.
One begs the question whether it is even safe for Black men to walk the streets given the current trend of unprovoked attacks.
Michael Brown was shot to death on August 9. The shooting occurred around noon in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, as Brown and a friend walked down a street.
He was unarmed, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmar.
Belmar alleged that Brown physically assaulted the officer, and during a struggle between the two, Brown reached for the officer’s gun. One shot was fired in the car followed by other gunshots outside of the car.
The incident and death set off a firestorm of protests and inflamed the discussion about police brutality nationwide as America now deals with the constant shooting down and killing of unarmed Black men.
Candlelight vigils to honor Brown and protest police brutality boiled over into turned violent with more than a dozen businesses are vandalized and looted.
As demonstrations continued and tempers flared, police stepped up enforcement and the situation came to a head after police released teargas, shot rubber bullets at protesters and arrested journalists for exercising their rights under the First Amendment.
President Barack Obama and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon have stepped in promising full federal and state investigations into the shooting and appealing to the community for peaceful demonstrations without violence. Nixon even visited Ferguson in hopes of calming the storm. He has ordered the Missouri Highway Patrol to take control of security operations in Ferguson.
Meanwhile, demonstrations continue at are growing nationwide into other Black communities in support of the Ferguson and the Michael Brown family and for a public wary of the police killing Black males.
Tarharka said this peaceful demonstration will send a strong message from all walks of our community that Houston supports them and will renew and revive efforts to end police brutality and senseless killing and violence against Black males by police in every community across the country.