Locals take a knee

Kaepernick, Nike supported in demonstration

Protesters gathered in front of the Marquette post office on Thursday to demonstrate in support of Colin Kaepernick's Take a Knee movement. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

MARQUETTE — While football fans gathered on the field Thursday for the NFL season opener, Marquette community members gathered in front of the post office to stand in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the United States national anthem in 2016 in protest of social injustice in America.

Around a dozen people toting signs reading “No justice, no peace” and “Change starts with us,” met in support of the Take a Knee movement.

“Firstly, this movement in no way promotes any disrespect toward any country or its military. It’s purely just trying to promote awareness about police brutality, lack of accountability and the systemic oppression of people of color and the economically deprived,” said Tom Moseley, protest coordinator.

Moseley, who was also celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary at the protest, organized the event just days before Nike’s latest “Dream Crazy” campaign, which features Kaepernick saying “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Moseley commended Nike for supporting Kaepernick’s message and the movement. He believes talking about the movement and reaching as many people as possible is the first step toward ending police brutality, along with education, he said.

A youthful protester is pictured. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

“Typically, law enforcement officers receive seven times more training in shooting than they do in de-escalating (tense situations),” Moseley said. “I think getting that information out there and getting taxpayers and voters to know that they are not trained as much in de-escalation as they probably should be, then maybe just through people being aware and gaining information we can maybe help change that.”

Moseley encouraged all to watch the footage of police interactions with Tamir Rice, Daniel Shaver, Philando Castile, Magdiel Sanchez, Brian Claunch, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, John Crawford III and Freddie Gray. All of their deaths were ruled homicides by medical examiners, yet all officers involved in these cases were either not charged, found not guilty or acquitted of all charges, he said.

Moseley said researching this movement and the cases surrounding it is particularly important in areas such as Marquette, because the relationship between police and the community is mostly positive.

“It’s easy to think the bad things that are happening aren’t as bad, because they’re not happening to us here,” Moseley said.

He hopes that through public protests and others being receptive of information that they may not agree with that he’ll be living in “a world where every life is equal no matter who you are, where you were born, or what color your skin is,” Moseley said.

Protester and member of the Universalist Unitarian Association, Heidi Gould, stands outside the Marquette Post Office to show her support of the Take a Knee movement during a protest held Thursday. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)