Atlanta city councilmen join Clark Atlanta students at Ferguson rally

By AJC reporter Janel Davis

About 100 students gathered at Clark Atlanta University on Tuesday afternoon for a rally about the outcome of the grand jury decision in Ferguson.

Student leaders were joined by Atlanta City Councilmen Caesar Mitchell and Michael Julian Bond for the 90-minute session of speeches and prayer.

“The outcome of the case brought some things like police brutality into the dialogue, and is shows that these are issues that people have been thinking about,” said Faron Manuel, 22, Clark Atlanta’s student government president. “These problems have been there. They’re not new.”

The Clark Atlanta rally was one of several scheduled for Atlanta area on Tuesday, a day after the grand jury’s decision. A separate rally organized primarily by students at Morehouse and Spelman colleges was set for 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the CNN Center.

Click here for details about other gatherings planned for Atlanta.

Throughout the Clark Atlanta rally, students were reminded of their responsibility to continue to work for equal rights and protections.

“You cannot stand around and weep,” Bond said. “You have to live the life that Michael Brown cannot live.”

“Leadership will come in the form of nonviolence and a commitment to action,” said Mitchell. “What will you do with the special appointment that you have?”

Longtime CAU adjunct professor and civil rights leader Georgianne Thomas delivered one of the most moving portions of the rally, recounting her work in the Civil Rights Movement.

After enduring the struggles of that movement, “what are we doing back here again?” Thomas asked while fighting through tears before ending her remarks with a verse of the Civil Rights standard “We Shall Overcome.”

Staff writer Steve Visser contributed to this story.


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