How loud must a protest be in order to be heard?
Moderator: Nick Castele, ideastream
Damon Davis, Film Producer
Sabaah Folayan, Film Director and Producer
Amanda King, Cleveland Community Police Commission
Rhonda Williams, Ph.D, Case Western Reserve University Social Justice Institute
In 2014 an unarmed 18-year-old African-American named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. This was the final straw for black residents, caught in a decades-long struggle with an oppressive police force known for racist tendencies and excessive tactics. They unified and peacefully protested the murder, but justice never came. So what do you do when your own government is against you? As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” In the heat of the moment, some stores were looted and damaged. But the narrative the media spun was misleading and largely out of context. Ferguson police—and later the National Guard—stormed through neighborhoods, treating citizens inhumanely. They rode in tanks with machine guns drawn, as if they were at war. Instead of focusing on these actions and the murder of a teenager, the media was obsessed with a few incidents of vandalism. The entire terrifying episode unfolds in WHOSE STREETS?, a powerful and gut-wrenching documentary that will hit you like a ton of bricks. —E.F.