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SA Rallying Call: Change Can Only Come, When We Stand Together As One

Ryan Loyd
TPR News

Across the country, a nation and its people are divided, with many feeling anger, aggravation and frustration in the wake of the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

A rally in San Antonio brought out people of all colors, for discussion and debate. People chanted, held signs and came together to share feelings about the recent events in Missouri. The crowd was mostly white and Hispanic, with African-Americans in the organizing groups facing those who gathered.

One of the organizers, a group called SATX4Ferguson, with a Facebook page of the same name, used social media to gather support for their cause. Group leader, Mike Lowe, credited San Antonio's diversity and understanding as a strength, and explained why it mattered, that they could gather, have divergent points of view in the same group and talk those through peacefully.

“The day we stop talking about it will be the day we give up on our resolve,” said Lowe. “And this country is full of resilient people. That's not a cliché. So one day it'll happen. We may not see it. That doesn't mean it won't happen.”

Lowe and others are using this rally as part of the healing process. One part of that process saw him call on people to shout out the names of people who've faced police brutality, in a roll call. The anger is real.

Darryle Aitch is in San Antonio on business, but lives not far from where the Ferguson shooting happened. He said he never saw any sign of tension like what now exists, in the Missouri town.

“There was never any indication of any racial problems or anything like this was going to happen.” “From the officer?” he’s asked. “From the officer, not at all,” he emphasized.

And the shooting, he added, didn't have to happen.

“You should at least be able to protect yourself. There’s no reason to shoot an unarmed individual. Why couldn’t he [Wilson] have used his billy club, put a knot on his [Brown’s] head, used his taser? And the sad thing about it is it's not just Mike Brown. If you look at the number of African-American young males being gunned down unarmed throughout America, something has to be done,” said Aitch.

No matter what their views on the Ferguson shooting are, and which side of the fence anyone is on, there’s no doubting here that in this divided nation, change is needed, as is better communication. Protesters believe forums like this go a long way to break the impasse.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.