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Ferguson protest to halt highway traffic Labor Day: Risk lives to protest death?

Peaceful, but tense demonstrations continue in Ferguson, with the latest planned protest gearing up to stop traffic on the highways in and around St. Louis on Labor Day, Monday Sept. 1. The protesters want Officer Darren Wilson fired and arrested on charges of murder for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, according to the New York Times on Aug 31.

Ferguson protestors to stop traffic on highways in and around St. Louis on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1
Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Saturday’s march at Ferguson had a coalition leader calling for this traffic halt to begin on Monday at 4:30 p.m. on St. Louis highways. Drivers are asked drive on the highways and put their hazard lights then come to a complete stop in the middle of some of the busiest highways.

Cars are then instructed to come to a complete stop for four and a half minutes, with each minute symbolizing the hours that Michael Brown’s bloody body lay in the street before it was removed. The protestors should have a speech at the ready to help ease the pain should any fatal crashes evolve out of this high-risk behavior they're nurturing.

According to Fox News today, organizers of this halt traffic protest say that this is just the beginning of these type of disturbances. If their demands of firing and arresting Officer Wilson are not met, these civil disobedience protests will continue in the spirit of Dr. King. Do the protest organizers realize that they are asking people to put their lives and the lives of other innocent people in jeopardy with this move?

The demonstration is scheduled for St. Louis area highways including Highway 70, according to the Worcester Telegram today. Anthony Shahid, one of the lead organizers of the rally told the supporters at Saturday’s demonstration that on Monday when the protesters stop in traffic;

“We’re going to tie it down, lock it down.”

If Officer Wilson, the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown is not fired, next week this traffic protest will happen on two days. This is what Shahid said to the media and his plans are to have these "civil disobedience" protests to continue until Wilson is under arrest.

Anyone who has ever driven on a highway knows that what drivers are being asked to do is very dangerous. Cars stopping on a highway are putting themselves at high risk for being rear-ended at speeds of up to 80 mph, which is what many cars cruise the highways at, even with speed limits dictating lower speeds.

Are these protesters really willing to put people in harm’s way to make this point? Shahid continued saying “I want the highways shut down. I know it’s a holiday, but it won’t be no good holiday.”

Shahid's use of “I” when saying he wants the highways shut down, is disturbing. These protests include a group of people and their willingness to protest in numbers to show the seriousness of this subject. This seems like a strange way of presenting something instead of referring to the people as “We.” When saying "I want the highways shut down" it has a whisper of power about it and it sounds as if it is just one person dictating the moves and getting this done.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesperson, Mike O’Connell said that there will be an appropriate and measured response based on the conditions come Monday’s highway protest. It is unclear what the authorities plan to do if people start throwing on their brakes on the highway come Monday.

Putting people in danger is not the right way to go about this. If the people running these protests are so caring, they wouldn’t want to take a chance of a highway wreck and jeopardizing lives to protest the taking of a life. This highway protest does not make sense.

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