Churches Act as Sanctions for Protesters
Michael Brown was shot on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael and a friend were walking in the middle of a street after robbing a convenience store, when a police officer pulled up beside them and asked them to move to the sidewalk. Michael Brown was 18 years old and unarmed when he was shot to death 12 times by Darren Wilson, a police officer. On Sunday August 10, 2014 a peaceful memorial for Michael Brown turns violent and a riot breaks out.
The article explains that Churches are preparing to offer their space as a safe haven for rioters to go for water, food, phone chargers, medical help, counsellors and legal services. They also believe that the space should be a police officer free zone unless absolutely needed during these protests. Reverend Tommie Pierson of Great St. Mark Family Church explains that “his church does not intend to harbour criminals, but he expects police to keep their distance.” (Fowler, 2014) The point of Churches becoming safe havens is for protesters to feel safe when things become violent. While some Churches are still trying to figure out where to draw the line, other Churches have made it clear and would like individuals to know that they are specifically opening their doors for the protesters and only the protesters not for “mentally ill” individuals to receive a free meal. (Fowler, 2014)
Since the 19th century, Churches have acted as a sanction for escaped slaves. “The Bible refers to cities of refuge for accidental killings where those accused of murder could safely await trial.” (Fowler, 2014) Churches have been known to even hide illegal immigrants. The Church hopes to safe lives when the Grand Jury announcement takes place on November 24, 2014, as churches believe it is their duty to God and society to help those in need of “saving”. They hope to get people off the streets as riots take place, as they know the situation can and will become violent.
In my opinion I think the Churches are being very responsible. They are opening their doors and hoping individuals will use their home as a safe place to stay during the chaotic times. The grand jury on November 24, 2014, announced that they will not indict Darren Wilson. Individuals from all types of religions have put aside their differences and have come together during this hard time; not because of their religion but because of the belief that justice needs to be served. President Obama has asked individuals to protest peacefully so no more lives will be taken. Churches have helped over hundreds of protestors since Monday.
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