A college senior organizes a silent walk to protest the killing of unarmed citizens.
It was the quietest demonstration I’d ever seen take place in Center City Philadelphia.
There were no chants of “f*ck the police,” no blocking traffic, and no intense confrontations between law enforcement and citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. The Trail of Silence walk, organized by Mr. Shakeil Greeley, a 21 year-old senior attending the University of Pennsylvania, was by all accounts a peaceful, artistic and inspired demonstration.
Mr. Greeley kept his words to a minimum, as his aim was to let the names on the postcards and his t-shirt speak for themselves.
In an exclusive interview with Techbook Online following his third walk around City Hall and right before he and others staged what may be the longest die-in ever recorded, Mr. Greeley reveals his movement was birthed out of a series of projects that reached the proverbial tipping point once grand juries choose not to indict the killers of Mr. Eric Garner and Mr. Michael Brown, Jr.
Mr. Greeley, who’s originally from Portland, Oregon, and has resided in Philadelphia for the last 10 years, also shared that it was his own fear of the “abuse of power” that initiated the series of events that led up to his contribution to the national Day of Resistance, which saw city streets around the country filled with protesters condemning police violence and affirming the value of black lives.
Curiosity played a part, too, in Mr. Greeley’s unique form of activism, particularly in how the cases of unarmed civilians killed by police are documented and stored. What he found when he went for a deeper dive into the stories was disappointing to say the least.
“There’s a lack of databases that are comprehensive,” says Mr. Greeley, who informed me that on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, he will publish his research to www.TrailofSilence.com.
As for his quiet convenings, Mr. Greeley hinted that this is just the beginning and his goal is to keep these names appearing in the public and reminding us all that Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others victims of police violence are not isolated incidents.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™