#ReclaimingMLK

Flashing back on this MLK Day to a photograph I shot at a #ReclaimMLK protest in Santa Monica five years ago. Protesters staged a die-in. Not everyone was happy about it.

Below is a piece of a story I wrote for FSRN.

Participants in Santa Monica fell to the ground and blocked traffic as they stayed frozen for four and a half minutes – a symbolic representation of the four and a half hours that Michael Brown’s body was left on the ground after he was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The demonstrations brought applause, but there were also confrontations. Including one between angry motorcyclists who were blocked by the protesters.Melina Abdullah, chair of Pan African studies at Cal State University-LA, says demonstrators are intentionally making things uncomfortable for those who want to maintain the status quo.

“This is King’s dream and we need to reclaim Martin Luther King and understand that Martin Luther didn’t just advocate non-violence. He advocated non-violent direct action and that’s what we are engaging in. Non-violence does not mean being passive and accepting the rules that were given. Dr. Martin Luther King said that if there are unjust laws, break them. That’s what we are trying to reclaim,” says Abdullah.

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