Truman State’s chapter of Amnesty International organized a candlelight vigil in honor of Michael Brown, shooting victim and Ferguson, Missouri, resident Aug. 25 at 8 p.m.
In addition to the vigil, the organization set up a table on The Quad from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the same day, and invited the Truman community to add their handprints to a banner that read “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” According to the Truman Amnesty International chapter’s Facebook page, these events invited members of the community to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri.
Senior Natalia Albanese, president of Truman’s chapter, says the Truman branch aims to raise awareness for the violence and police brutality displayed in Ferguson.
“It hits close to home because a lot of people who go to Truman are from the St. Louis area or that part of the state,” Albanese says. “It’s important for people to realize that this type of thing can happen anywhere when it really shouldn’t be happening.”
Senior Jessica Plaggenberg, a resident of Ferguson, Missouri, says the events impacted her personally when her business was told not to open because of the protests occurring throughout the city. She says one of her coworkers was tackled to the ground, arrested and beaten for taking part in peaceful protest.
“It’s just had a big effect since I have family there and they’ve been scared with everything that’s going on,” Plaggenberg says. “People just really don’t know what’s actually happening there.”
Junior Greg Fister, Vice President of the Truman chapter of Amnesty International, says the massive human rights abuses occurring throughout Ferguson should be important to the Truman community. Fister says the events in Ferguson are emblematic of things happening across the country.
Since this is happening relatively close to Kirksville, Fister says it is a good time for organizations such as Amnesty International to let the public know things like this are happening throughout their country.
“It’s still very important, so we’re going to try to keep Truman involved as best as we can,” Fister says.