Hundreds rally in support of Missouri town following teen’s death

Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Dressed in her white and black collar with a silver cross dangling from her neck, Rev. Dr. Rhonda Britton marched with her hands raised above her head, as her voice resounded with a cry for justice.

“Who am I?” she chanted.

“Mike Brown,” the crowd of nearly 500 people shouted back.

The pastor of Cornwallis Street Baptist Church in Halifax, along with other elders and youth from the black community, led a march through the downtown care on Tuesday evening to show solidarity with the town of Ferguson, Mo. following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown, who was black, was unarmed when he was shot six times by a white Missouri police officer after allegedly stealing cigars from a grocery store with a friend.

Rally organizer El Jones said she sees a strong connection between the teenager’s death and the long history of racism and injustice that has plagued Nova Scotia’s black community.

“Violence doesn’t have to be in the form of a gun to be violent,” she said. “Racism happens in covert ways as well as overt ways.”

From the destruction of Africville to today’s high rates of poverty and crime, she believes it’s time for black people to come together and raise their voice for change.

Members of the crowd – which included black, white and other races – walked from Victoria Park to the United States Consulate near the waterfront, holding signs that read, “hands up, don’t shoot,” and “it could have been me.”

Renata Hall, a fourth-year Dalhousie University student, marched at the front of the crowd with a megaphone in hand.

“We can’t just sit here and be quiet,” she said, describing how the rally was her way of paying respects to all the injustices gone unnoticed in the black community.

When the crowd eventually gathered, Britton spoke a message of hope, as people cheered and applauded at the vision of a brighter future.

“We are one world, one people, one human race and and every single one of us has value,” she said.

Organizations: Cornwallis Street Baptist Church, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Missouri, Halifax, Ferguson, Mo. Nova Scotia Victoria Park

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