The echo of the civil rights youth freedom song “Chant down Babylon, grassroots is the bomb, we’re ready, we coming!” rang out from members of a group from Black Youth Project 100 in front of the Office of Police Complaints in Northwest Washington, D.C. on Nov. 25.
The group was joined by other organizations and bystanders in protest over a Missouri grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen who was killed Aug. 9.
“The killing of unarmed Black people by the police and vigilantes happens everywhere, not only in Missouri, and this includes D.C. And time and again, people aren’t being held accountable,’ said Jonathan Lykes, co-chair of the youth organization.
Lykes told a crowd of people that more had to be done to make sure Black lives mattered. According to Lykes, the youth organization plans to continue to seek justice for African Americans.
“We want a re-establishing of a Citizens Review Board to hold D.C. law enforcement accountable for acts of police brutality or misconduct,” he said. “We will further our long-term campaign in community oversight and accountability over law enforcement in our efforts to keep our lives safe.”
Dominic Weeks, a teacher from Potomac Preparatory Charter School in Northeast D.C., was doing an assignment on the homeless when he said he heard of the protest. He brought 30 students with him to become involved.
“I wanted the students to see what it was like to participate in a peaceful protest,” Weeks said.
Toni Sanders and Taylor Daugherty, co-chairs of a new organization Think MOOR (Movement of Revolutionary) assisted the youth organization with its protest.
“We first went to the Department of Justice before we came here,” said Daugherty. “Our focus is on human rights in relation to civil rights. Our plan is to continuously make people uncomfortable, not in a negative way, but to make people understand the importance of human rights.”