Dozens of congressional staffers decided to walkout in protest of the recent grand jury cases for not indicting the officials who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson. The staffers who decided to walk out with a “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture stood side by side on the steps of Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon in solidarity.
The staffers that decided to walkout include over 100 people, mostly lawmakers. According to ABC the walkout was lead by Senate Chaplain Barry Black who started a prayer, including that the staffers were working as a “voice for the voiceless.”
He went on to address news outlets and anyone watching from Capitol Hill.
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) December 11, 2014
“Today as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our lands, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves.”
“May we not forget that in our national history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act. Forgive, oh God, our culpability in contributing to our national pathology as you keep us aware of our own capacity to be instruments of injustice.”
The “hands up, don’t shoot” position is a gesture that has become famous due to Michael Brown having his hands up at the time he was killed. Many have taken this gesture in their own demonstrations of protest, but it’s powerful to see people gathered on home turf.
Here’s a few reactions to the staffers walkout on Capitol Hill.
RT “@GeoffRBennett Congressional staffers stage walkout in protest of Garner and Brown grand jury decisions” AMAZING!
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) December 11, 2014
Congressional staffers walk out https://t.co/11kkYRqgAt
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 11, 2014
POWER TO THE PEOPLE BLACK CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERS PLAN FERGUSON, GARNER WALKOUT. http://t.co/T6Q4nUm6Np
— Mark Ridley-Thomas (@MRTempower) December 11, 2014
That’s how you make a statement. http://t.co/ChAIMydXVx
— Caitlynn Wentworth (@CaitlynnnnnXO) December 11, 2014
Black Lives Matter: Staffers Walk Out of Congress in Protest http://t.co/svMgqnl487
— Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) December 11, 2014
— Lindsey Peacock (@LindseyNPeacock) December 11, 2014
[Image via LuminaImages / Shutterstock]